DEWINE REMARKS [AS PREPARED]: AMERICAN ANTITRUST INSTITUTE AWARD
Thank you Jon, for that very gracious introduction. I very much enjoyed working with you when you were in the Senate, and we all benefit from having you over at the Federal Trade Commission, where you are continuing to do the very important tasks of enforcing the antitrust laws and protecting consumers. I'd like to thank Bert also, both for his work to promote strong antitrust enforcement here at the American Antitrust Institute (AAI), and of course for his kindness in honoring myself and Senator Kohl with this award today. And last, but certainly not least, I'd like to thank Senator Kohl for all of his efforts since we began working together on the Antitrust Subcommittee back in 1997. His commitment to responsible antitrust enforcement and his dedication to protecting consumers have helped the Antitrust Subcommittee to achieve both of those goals, and his commitment to bipartisanship has helped the Subcommittee function smoothly and professionally throughout our time working together.
I'd like to just say a few words about antitrust enforcement generally. I know that everyone here today is dedicated to active antitrust enforcement, and my experience working on the Antitrust Subcommittee for more than 9 years has confirmed what I have always believed - strong, vigorous, responsible antitrust enforcement is a crucial component of our economic vitality. When our antitrust agencies do their jobs well, they help set out the rules of the road, which allows businesses the freedom and certainty to compete aggressively against each other.
On the flip side, of course, active enforcement also prevents anticompetitive behavior, which keeps that competition within appropriate bounds and ensures that new and small businesses have room to innovate and grow in the marketplace. None of this is new to anyone here in this room, but I think it is worth noting that despite all the changes we have seen in the marketplace in recent years, sound antitrust principles continue to provide the proper benchmarks for our economy. Whether the issue is consolidation in the telecommunications industry or competition in the hospital group purchasing market, the broad tenets of antitrust law give us the guidance we need.
As you all know, it's always difficult to find that fine line between aggressive, healthy competition and destructive or anticompetitive behavior, but it's our job on the Antitrust Subcommittee to keep trying, and to promote the type of competition that helps everyone in the marketplace. The AAI is one of the organizations that help us to do our job better, and I think I can speak for both Senator Kohl and myself when I say thank you to the organization and to all of you here today, for your dedication to the principles of antitrust and your work on behalf of competition.