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Risky Bets by Entrepreneurs Should Be Celebrated, Not Stifled: FTC Chair, Lina

Dangerous wagers are a strength, not a weakness, of the US economy. They ought to be honored rather than questioned. Because we encourage entrepreneurship, the United States is home to the biggest and most inventive businesses in the world. Americans have a propensity to think that brilliant ideas can become successful businesses with a lot of effort, a little bit of luck, and without government approval.

However, it appears that the Biden administration believes bureaucrats are more adept at expanding the economy than business owners.

Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), was interviewed by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show recently, providing an illustration of this. Stewart brought up the FTC’s antitrust case against Meta, which, should it succeed, would compel the platform to divest WhatsApp and Instagram, two of its photo apps. According to Stewart, Facebook would see its acquisition of Instagram in 2012 as “… a sign of our success.” We place wagers on particular businesses and see them succeed. “One essential tenet of the anti-monopoly laws is that you can’t go out and buy one of your biggest competitors,” Khan argued in opposition.

A impartial observer would conclude that Facebook took a big gamble by paying $1 billion to acquire Instagram. Prior to going public, Facebook‘s greatest acquisition to date was of Instagram. Even Stewart, who parodied the transaction on The Daily Show for a full episode in 2012, didn’t think Instagram was a real threat to Facebook back then, despite the platform’s current success.
Progressives like Khan and Stewart think that mergers and acquisitions are just a tactic used by large corporations to grow and gain power.

This misconception is problematic because it makes the assumption that acquisitions are always advantageous to the acquiring company. Dangerous wagers are dangerous for a reason: between 70 and 90 percent of acquisitions are usually “abysmal failures.”

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