Hawley advocates for government to block Capital One acquisition of Discover

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Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri has urged Jonathan Kanter, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, to seek to put the kibosh on the planned acquisition of Discover by Capital One.

“This is destructive corporate consolidation at its starkest. If consummated, this merger will create a new juggernaut in the credit card market, with unprecedented powers to extort American consumers,” Hawley declared in a letter to Kanter.

“You, in partnership with other regulators, must take the lead in blocking this merger. No doubt a legion of proxies and allies for the financial industry will soon emerge, claiming that this proposed deal will benefit consumers. That is doubtful. If the last several decades of American political economy indicate anything at all, it’s that the supposed benefits of monopoly never trickle down to the public at large. Instead, consolidation redounds to the benefit of shareholders and a handful of top executives—not ordinary Americans,” the senator wrote.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has also called for killing the acquisition.

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“The merger of @CapitalOne and @Discover threatens our financial stability, reduces competition, and would increase fees and credit costs for American families. This Wall street deal is dangerous and will harm working people. Regulators must block it immediately,” Warren declared in a post on X.

A press release about the deal notes that, “Under the terms of the agreement, Discover shareholders will receive 1.0192 Capital One shares for each Discover share, representing a premium of 26.6% based on Discover’s closing price of $110.49 on February 16, 2024.”

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