About Open Markets
We are a team of journalists, researchers, lawyers, and advocates working together to expose and reverse the stranglehold that corporate monopolies have on our country.
In America today, wealth and political power are more concentrated than at any point in our country’s history. Major sectors of the economy – airlines, retail, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, banks, agriculture, communications, technology, and many more– have been reduced to a handful of major players. This intense and fast-growing monopolization helps explain economic inequality, the degradation of jobs and wages, entrenched political and economic exclusion of marginalized groups, the rise of fake news and political polarization, the hollowing out of thousands of communities, our increasingly unresponsive politics – and the list goes on.
How did we get here? Beginning in the mid-1970s, both Democrats and Republicans came under the thrall of an economic doctrine known as the “Chicago School” philosophy. This doctrine claimed economic concentration was not to be feared, and that attempts by government to structure competition would lead to inefficiency and thus higher prices for consumers. This led to the dismantling of a large and carefully constructed body of law and regulation that for generations had been essential to reducing inequalities of wealth and power across all regions of the country.
The Open Markets Institute’s mission is to rebalance power away from these unprecedented concentrations of economic control and towards citizens, independent businesses, and communities. We lead the effort to protect democratic institutions and the liberties of citizens from concentrated corporate power and develop solutions to America’s monopoly crisis. Open Markets’ core activities include:
- Solutions-oriented research and bold investigative reporting published in high-profile media outlets, as well as leading academic and political books.
- Robust efforts to develop and inform anti-monopoly policies at the federal, state, and local levels.
- Sustained pressure on top antitrust law enforcers in both the U.S. and the European Union to bring more and better cases.
- Direct engagement in shaping U.S. antitrust law by filing amicus briefs on high-impact cases.
- Efforts to shape the intellectual and political debate by convening influential leaders in policy, law, and business.
- Strategic partnerships with advocates and grassroots groups to amplify impact.
The Open Markets Institute has been on the leading edge of exposing the role of monopoly power in the range of challenges facing America’s economy and democracy. As the Financial Times has noted, “The debate [around corporate concentration] has been driven by progressive think-tanks such as the Open Markets Institute and has posed an intellectual challenge to the antitrust consensus in place since the late 1980s.” Our team seeks to continue to lead in the development of the intellectual capital needed to fully overturn the left-right Reagan-era consensus, and also to lay the foundation for our democratic institutions to address the extreme consolidation of corporate power.