Remember this ludicrous campaign promise?
A government that can’t figure out how to not be $32 trillion in debt – and counting – probably isn’t going to cure cancer.
Even still: The Joe Biden Administration’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its chair Lina Khan – apparently didn’t get the Biden cancer memo.
“I am not in all ways opposed to FTC action. There are economic sectors that are dominated by singular humongous Big Businesses – and those situations should be addressed.
“But if you seemingly oppose EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE – you sully your ability to do the actual things you need to do.
“The FTC is sullying the heck out of itself.
“And given FTC Chair Lina Khan’s antitrust history – it’s more than fair to think she does in fact oppose everything everywhere.”
This Khan-FTC assessment certainly isn’t tempered – by this….
“California-based Grail is a pioneer in the MCED space and wants to merge with another California company, Illumina, which makes the machines used by Grail to scan our blood for signs of cancer.
“Illumina says it wants to bring Grail’s potential breakthrough test beyond the concierge doctors and self-insured health plans and to the entire country.”
Sounds like a HUGE step towards curing cancer. And Khan and her FTC – are opposed:
“But this isn’t good enough for Khan, an avowed critic of corporate mergers. She deems this anti-competitive and offers the excuse that Grail has no present competitors.”
Khan’s opposition seems to be at once anti-merger – and anti-patent.
We have seen time and again Khan is hyper-active in her opposition to anything anyone in the private sector wants to do – in the name of antitrust.
We have seen in the past how a hyper-active FTC can undermine patents. By idiotically attacking them – in the name of antitrust.
And we now have Khan objecting to Grail’s newly-minted cancer test – and a merger to make it more widely available.
Grail appears to have invented a revolutionary new way to preemptively identify cancer susceptibility. I hope they patented the heck out of it. We can certainly assume they did.
So yes, Miss Khan – Grail has no present competitors. It’s called invention. When you create something new – it’s new. And no one else is doing it.
It’s why we have (well, had) a patent system. To incentivize people to invent things – by allowing them to then protect the things.
Grail undoubtedly spent a LOT of time and money creating their test. In better times, we respected and appreciated those massive investments. And had a system that protected their ability to recoup those investments.
Khan doesn’t seem to care – about any of this.
She is opposed to the merger because Grail (almost certainly) has patented tech. Which is like opposing Shaquille O’Neal for being tall. Shaq – is tall. A patent – is a Constitutional, legal monopoly:
“Patents are issued by the government – so as to protect the inventions of inventors….
“(A) a patent is a Constitutionally-mandated, government-granted monopoly.”
Khan arguing against the merger – because Grail doesn’t have any competitors for the blood test it just invented? Certainly seems to be anti-patent.
It absolutely reveals a complete lack of understanding of the basics of invention and economic evolution. Before there can be fifty of something – there has to be just one of that something.
On traditional antitrust grounds, there is also zero justification for blocking this merger.
It’s not like this is the only two companies on the planet doing X – merging to monopolize the X market. This would be a legitimate antitrust case to make.
This is one company doing X – looking to merge with a company that does something completely different. But together, they make X massively more available to the people of the planet.
In the Grail-Illumina case? That means making pre-diagnosis cancer tests- massively more available to the people of the planet.
Which makes normal people – with a normal understanding of economics and humanity – very, very happy.
Khan has demonstrated time and again – she is not one of these people.