Public policies structure markets in ways that can make them open and competitive at one extreme or closed and cornered at the other. The most familiar example are anti-trust laws. But competition policy also includes patent laws, occupational licensing requirements, prohibitions on price discrimination, “net neutrality” regulations, and other policies that set the terms of competition within any market.
The Corner Newsletter, July 26, 2019: The Corner Newsletter: Commissioner Chopra’s Powerful Dissent – How Trump’s New Executive Order on Hospital Pricing Could Change Health Care – Three Takeaways from the House Antitrust Subcommittee’s Latest Hearing
In the first part of a three-part series for Pro-Market, Open Markets Senior Fellow Matt Stoller explains why antimonopoly politics is experiencing a resurgence. “To understand how far we’ve come, we must understand what was,” writes Stoller. “I am going to try and help us reach back to the 1990s, before the financial crisis, Iraq War, Big Tech’s monopolization, before Nickelback jokes, and so forth.”
The Open Markets Institute welcomes its inaugural fellows for its Louis Brandeis Law and Political Economy Fellowship. The fellowship aims to attract the best and the brightest young minds to advance the wider anti-monopoly movement through antitrust law and policy initiatives.
Open Markets Institute Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard has published a piece on CNN Business describing the extent of the concentration crisis in America and how monopoly is killing the American Dream. While big tech remains in the crosshairs for lawmakers and the 2020 presidential candidates, as seen during the first night of the Democratic debate, Hubbard emphasizes that the monopoly problem extends far beyond tech, crippling economic growth, raising prices, depressing wages, and making life increasingly harder for average Americans.
Open Markets strongly condemns the decision by the Supreme Court today in Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas. The ruling guts the 21st Amendment to the Constitution and empowers dominant retailers, such as Amazon, to take over America’s markets for beer, wine, and spirits.
The New York Times’ Marc Tracy covers the LSC/Quad merger and the U.S. Department of Justice’s move to file suit against it. He cites a letter submitted to the DOJ earlier in the Spring by Open Markets, the Authors Guild and the PEN America against the merger demanding the government act to protect the free press.
The New York Times’ David Streitfeld writes that big tech’s power has regulators and scholars, such as those of Open Markets, trying to reverse years of established doctrine. He also describes how anti-monopoly reformers are in ascendance and speaks with Open Markets’ Executive Director Barry Lynn about anti-monopoly law and its history.
Last Thursday, the Justice Department (DOJ) sued to prevent printing giant Quad from acquiring its main competitor, LSC Communications. The $1.4 billion deal between “the two most significant magazine, catalog, and book printers in the United States,” the DOJ’s Antitrust Division wrote in its complaint, “threatens to increase prices, reduce quality, and limit availability of printed material that millions of Americans rely on to receive and disseminate information and ideas.”