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Albert Foer, head of the American Antitrust Institute, aims to root out monopolists and other anticompetitive predators wherever they might be lurking. Now his Washington, D.C.-based antitrust think tank is shining its searchlight on a new culprit: the American Bar Association. Foer, a former Federal Trade Commission lawyer who founded the nonprofit AAI in 1998, claims that the ABA’s restrictions on lawyer-accountant mergers are a clear attempt to extend the bar’s monopoly over legal services and thwart an innovation that consumers want. Specifically, he argues that the ABA’s proposal to only permit multidisciplinary practices (MDPs) controlled by lawyers is anticompetitive — and a potential violation of antitrust laws. In a study released in early February, the AAI calls the ABA’s proposed restrictions “bad for the consuming public, bad for public policy, and in the long run bad for the legal profession.” Foer laid out his case against the ABA to reporter Douglas McCollam.

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