Press Releases
Open Markets: FTC’s Proposed Rent-to-Own Settlement Is Toothless

The FTC has proposed to settle a market allocation scheme among three leading rent-to-own operators with a “do not break the law again” order and also opted not to challenge an illegal interlocking directorate arrangement among two of them. The rent-to-own industry is a part of the fringe financial sector (think payday and title lenders, pawn shops, and check cashers) that preys on the working poor squeezed by low and volatile incomes and denied access to conventional credit.

March 30, 2020  |  by Open Markets
Open Markets Calls for Ban on Takeovers by Large Corporation and Funds for Duration of Crisis

The Open Markets Institute calls on Congress, the Trump administration, and federal and state law enforcement agencies to use their various powers to impose an immediate ban on all mergers and acquisitions by any corporation with more than $100 million in annual revenue, and by any financial institution or equity fund with more than $100 million in capitalization. The ban should remain in place for the duration of the present crisis.

March 21, 2020  |  by Open Markets
The Open Markets Primer on Economic Interdependence, Industrial Supply Chains, and Shocks

The Open Markets team has long been the leader in America in highlighting the ways in which concentration of production capacity can make industrial, financial, and information systems subject to catastrophic crashes. We began this work more than 20 years ago, after an earthquake in Taiwan on September 21, 1999, led within days to the shutdown of factories across the United States. It was our research into this first “industrial crash” that alerted us to the degree to which basic industrial and economic activities had been monopolized in America, and it also alerted us to the degree to which free market ideology had blinded policymakers and economists to the clear dangers posed by such consolidation.

March 15, 2020  |  by Open Markets
Press Releases
Open Markets: Agriculture Department Should Use Packers and Stockyards Act to Protect Farmers From Meatpacker Abuse

In a comment filed with the USDA, the Open Markets Institute urges the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to curtail meatpackers’ abusive tactics and to stand up to judicial overreach by reviving the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA).

March 13, 2020  |  by Open Markets
Press Releases
Open Markets and Allies Reject Proposed Guidelines for Vertical Mergers as Bad Law and Bad Policy

The Open Markets Institute and our allies agree there is a pressing need for new vertical merger guidelines. The existing guidelines were fundamentally flawed when they were first introduced by the Reagan Administration in 1984. OMI and its allies call on the FTC and the DOJ to draft new guidelines consistent with the text and purpose of the Clayton Act and the DOJ’s 1968 Merger Guidelines.

February 26, 2020  |  by Open Markets

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About Open Markets

The Open Markets Institute uses journalism to promote greater awareness of the political and economic dangers of monopolization, identifies the changes in policy and law that cleared the way for such consolidation, and fosters discussions with policymakers and citizens as to how to update America’s traditional political economic principles for our 21st century digital society.

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Monopoly power is all around us: as consumers, business owners, employees, entrepreneurs, and citizens. Due to extreme concentrations of wealth and political power, our country is experiencing severe economic inequality, stagnant household income, the collapse of business formation and innovation, and historic levels of political polarization. Our Concentration Crisis Report shows that such concentration is not unique to one or two economic sectors. It is persistent across a diverse range of industries.