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Senate Judiciary Committee passes rail 'antitrust enforcement' bill


Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2007 (S. 772), which proposes to amend federal antitrust laws to repeal railroads’ exemptions.

Introduced in March by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), the bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

S. 772 would permit the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to review rail mergers under antitrust law, and allow state attorneys general and private parties to sue for damages or obtain a court injunction in rail competition cases.

A companion House bill, H.R. 1650, currently is under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee. The Association of American Railroads opposes both bills because officials believe the legislation would hinder railroads’ investments in their infrastructure and limit their ability to expand capacity.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/21/2007