Skip to main content
Tags: biden administration | handbags

Biden Anti-Trust Crusade Now Clutches at Handbags

the federal trade commission

The Federal Trade Commission sued to block Tapestry, Inc.’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Capri Holdings Ltd., saying that the deal would eliminate direct head-to-head competition between the fashion companies' brands like Coach and Michael Kors in the so-called affordable luxury handbag arena. (AP/Alex Brandon)

Jared Whitley By Thursday, 16 May 2024 01:44 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

A quandary for history buffs such as ourselves to ponder is where Teddy Roosevelt would fall in today’s political landscape.

On the one hand, it seems like he would love Donald Trump’s muscular nationalism and use of the bully pulpit. On the other hand, his championing of the little guy vs. big business seems downright liberal.

Indeed, the term “progressive” was first coined as Roosevelt’s crusade against soulless businesses crushing normal Americans.

But it actually seems pretty obvious which side he’d pick nowadays.

“The American people are right in demanding that New Nationalism, without which we cannot hope to deal with new problems,” Roosevelt said in a famous speech in 1910. “It is still more impatient of the impotence which springs from over division of governmental powers, the impotence which makes it possible for local selfishness or for legal cunning, hired by wealthy special interests, to bring national activities to a deadlock. This New Nationalism regards the executive power as the steward of the public welfare.”

And therein is the difference between appropriate regulatory guardrails and government run amok. If the object of government is the welfare of the people, then the purpose of all these regulations is to help Americans not to hurt them.

Could someone tell the Biden administration that?

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan has long been on a rampage against American commerce. She’s on a crusade to antitrust businesses she feels have become too large, whether it’s in the steel industry, e-commerce, data privacy, or artificial intelligence.

It must be a slow month because now she’s setting her sights on handbags.

Last August, fashion company Tapestry announced it wanted to acquire Capri Holdings, thereby forming an American fashion machine that could compete with European giants like LVMH (which owns Louis Vuitton) and Kering (which owns Gucci), both headquartered in Paris.

The FTC has said the merger would harm “accessible luxury” by creating a domestic monopoly, a vague definition that echoes previous FTC wrongful action against grocery markets and e-commerce. The FTC is wrong on here, too, as the presence of high-end handbags doesn’t impact the ability of more affordable brands to offer lower-cost products, and 21st century retail competes globally not locally.

On their own, Tapestry and Capri each struggle against companies that still benefit from the notion that Paris should be the world’s fashion capital. Tapestry has a global market share of just 2.79%, while Capri has one of 3.3%. The two companies’ combined 2023 FY revenue of is $12.3 billion, which sounds like a lot … except when compared to LVMH’s $93 billion!

This is yet another example of the Biden administration’s America last agenda, which abandons U.S. companies on the global stage. For example, by changing its definition of “barriers to trade,” the U.S. Trade Representative has deliberately hamstrung U.S. companies as they face an unfair trade environment.

What would the incomparably American Roosevelt think about the U.S. government helping European companies beat American ones? He’d probably accuse the Biden administration of that aforementioned “impotence which makes it possible for local selfishness or for legal cunning, hired by wealthy special interests.”

Neither Capri nor Tapestry are helped by the FTC blocking their proposed merger. Capri stock is already declining due to investor worries over FTC scrutiny over its sale to Tapestry.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s actions are a blessing to Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH and one of the world’s richest people with net assets of about $214 billion. The FTC is so caught up with its “big = bad” crusade that they helping big foreign companies become even bigger.

President Roosevelt continued in that famous speech that, “We cannot afford weakly to blind ourselves to the actual conflict which faces us today.” That conflict today is global as never before.

Whether Roosevelt would choose between the little guy in America and the billionaire in Paris isn’t a quandary anyone has to ponder.

Jared Whitley is a longtime politico who has worked in the U.S. Congress, White House and defense industry. He is an award-winning writer, having won best blogger in the state from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists (2018) and best columnist from Best of the West (2016). He earned his MBA from Hult International Business School in Dubai. Read Jared Whitley's reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

This is yet another example of the Biden administration’s America last agenda, which abandons U.S. companies on the global stage.
biden administration, handbags
Thursday, 16 May 2024 01:44 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved