Food & Agriculture

Today, from meat to beer to seeds, the food industry is highly consolidated. The removal of a long-standing ownership structure, one that distributed profit and opportunity across America’s landscape, means that now, most land and most animals are now cared for by corporations, not by individuals.

Brief of Amicus Curiae by Open Markets in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants in Llacua, et al. v. Western Range Association, et al.

Date Published: September 16, 2019

Open Markets filed an amicus brief in support of thousands of immigrant shepherds who allege they are the victims of a cartel among ranchers in the Western United States. The shepherds – here on a guest worker program from Peru – in 2015 sued the ranchers and their associations for colluding to suppress their wages.

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Court Decision Against Peruvian Shepherds Sets Dangerous Precedent for U.S. Workers

Date Published: September 12, 2019

In 2015, a group of Peruvian shepherds working for sheep ranchers in the western U.S. filed an antitrust suit alleging that the ranchers had colluded to hold down wages and avoid competing for labor. A judge initially dismissed the case and a three-judge panel on the Tenth Circuit agreed this July. The plaintiffs petitioned for another chance at their day in court. Open Markets Food & Power reporter Claire Kelloway asserts that the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal’s recent decision sets a precedent that, if adopted by other courts, could legalize cartel activity across the entire economy against both workers and consumers.

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California Authorities Investigating Amazon for Shadow Liquor Store as Prime Now Expands Alcohol Delivery

Date Published: August 28, 2019

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is investigating whether or not Amazon’s Los Angeles location meets state qualifications for a liquor store. Amazon intends to focus on delivering alcohol giving the online corporation a competitive advantage over California alcohol retailers who must pay for staff, stocking, and real estate.

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One Private Equity Fund Could Own a Quarter of the Chicken Houses for Costco’s Nebraska Project

Date Published: August 15, 2019

Will out-of-state investors own a sizable portion of Costco’s chicken production? One investor from North Carolina has applied for permits to build at least 132 chicken houses across nine locations in four Nebraska counties, according to public documents reviewed by Food & Power. Read Claire Kelloway’s latest story on how one private equity fund could own a quarter of the chicken houses for Costco’s project in Nebraska.

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At FTC Workshop, Advocates and Business Owners Say Manufacturers Monopolize Repair

Date Published: August 1, 2019

“Do farmers truly own their tractors if they aren’t allowed to fix them?” writes Open Markets Food & Power reporter Claire Kelloway. “That’s the question posed by the growing Right to Repair campaign.” Read her latest piece on the Federal Trade Commission’s Right to Repair workshop that brought together small business owners, state lawmakers, trade group representatives, and advocates to explain the different ways manufacturers prevent buyers from fixing their products, and whether or not they are justified.

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In America today, wealth and political power are more concentrated than at any point in our country’s history.

The Open Markets Institute, formerly the Open Markets program at New America, was founded to protect liberty and democracy from these extreme -- and growing -- concentrations of private power.

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