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FEATURED: Monopolies Flex Their Pricing Power
Corporate Power & Inflation Graphic [[link removed]]
Photo credit: iStock; Rebecca Zisser/Insider
“These companies are going to be able to maintain their pricing power.” As industry analysts say the [[link removed]] quiet part out loud on cable news [[link removed]] , we’re helping connect the dots between systemic corporate concentration and rising prices — so that tools to restrain corporate power become a key part of the solution.
The Washington Post [[link removed]] featured our work with Groundwork Collaborative to encourage the President to convene an emergency meeting of the Competition Council and urgently investigate rising prices’ relationship to market power. In his newsletter BIG, Research Director Matt Stoller provided the first macro analysis [[link removed]] tying consolidation to inflation that helped kick off the debate in earnest. For Business Insider [[link removed]] , Economic Liberties advisor and law professor Robert Lande explained the mechanisms by which monopoly power is supercharging rising prices. And Executive Director Sarah Miller weighed in on the political choices facing the President for Politico [[link removed]] .
How Google and Facebook Undermine Diversity in News. Together with MediaJustice and the News Media Alliance, Economic Liberties published a groundbreaking report, “ Minority-Owned [[link removed]] Media and the Digital Duopoly [[link removed]] ,” documenting how Facebook and Google’s dominance over online advertising is systematically undermining media owned by and designed to serve communities of color. The report will help inform the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee’s consideration of new legislation [[link removed]] that would allow news media outlets to collectively negotiate with the tech platforms for fair compensation for the use of their content.
Putting the Brakes on the Merger Frenzy. In January, Economic Liberties released “ To [[link removed]] Save Jobs and Slow Inequality, Stop the Merger Frenzy [[link removed]] ” to draw attention to the short- and long-term consequences of the avalanche of consolidation during the pandemic. This month, FTC Chair Lina Khan and DOJ Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter launched a joint initiative to overhaul merger guidelines, which help govern which types of corporate combinations should be considered illegal. Sarah Miller explained the effort’s significance in The Financial Times [[link removed]] and Reuters [[link removed]] , lifting up the importance of seeking out diverse viewpoints as new guidelines are developed . You can read her Washington Post op-ed on the connection between good jobs and merger policy here [[link removed]] , and check out our merger tracker dataset here [[link removed]] . Please reach out to us at [email protected] if you’d like to submit a comment in the docket [[link removed]] but have questions or need a hand.
“We’re Not Going to Back Down.” In an hour-long interview on CNBC [[link removed]] , FTC Chair Lina Khan took tough questions about efforts to rein in Big Tech and laid out her vision for a revitalized agency. Sarah Miller joined the The Economist [[link removed]] ’s podcast to explain why a revolution in antitrust enforcement was warranted and what a new generation of thinkers and activists hoped to accomplish. Senior Policy Advisor Krista Brown spoke to T [[link removed]] he Wall Street Journal [[link removed]] about what promises to be a protracted showdown between the FTC and Big Tech. And Economic Liberties’ sister 501(c)4 organization, Fight Corporate Monopolies, launched a new War Room [[link removed]] to counter corporate attacks on antitrust enforcers. Read more about it in Axios [[link removed]] .
The Military Turns Against Monopolies. When Economic Liberties launched two years ago, Sarah Miller told The New York Times [[link removed]] that protecting national security from defense monopolies was a key goal of the new organization, and Matt Stoller and Director of National Security Lucas Kunce’s “ America’s [[link removed]] [[link removed]] Monopoly [[link removed]] Crisis [[link removed]] Hits the Military [[link removed]] ” turned heads in defense circles. This week, after an intense two years of effort, the Pentagon embraced Economic Liberties’ view and declared that consolidation in the defense industry is risking America’s national security. This is a remarkable 180 degree turnaround from decades of pro-merger policy at the DoD, and it was complemented by FTC Chair Lina Khan’s successful challenge to Lockheed Martin’s attempted acquisition of a key supplier. Read more in The Wall Street Journal’s “ Why [[link removed]] 30 Years of Defense Consolidation May Be at an End [[link removed]] .”
BIG Comes to the Small Screen. This month, Research Director and author of the newsletter BIG [[link removed]] Matt Stoller launched a video series with the hugely popular YouTube show “Breaking Points.” First up? Unpacking the scam behind Amazon Prime. And although we know (unfortunately!) that Amazon is still quite popular, so was his debut show — so far, it’s been viewed nearly 320,000 times. Watch it here [[link removed]] (and wait for the amusing cameo from DC Attorney General Karl Racine, who’s overseeing a lawsuit targeting the e-commerce giant).
Taking the Corporate Power Fight to the States . If you want to know how state and local lawmakers are standing up to corporate giants, keep an eye on Economic Liberties’ Pat Garofalo [[link removed]] . In Texas, due in part to Garofalo’s advocacy [[link removed]] , the state Comptroller abandoned an outrageous proposal [[link removed]] to eliminate transparency rules for one of Texas’ biggest corporate subsidy programs. In New York [[link removed]] , Illinois [[link removed]] , and Florida [[link removed]] , state lawmakers introduced legislation inspired by Garofalo’s exclusive essay for The New York Times , “ How [[link removed]] Amazon, Google, and Other Companies Exploit NDAs [[link removed]] .” And in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York, lawmakers are executing one of the key recommendations of Garofalo’s “ Tools [[link removed]] for Taking on Big Tech’s Economic Power [[link removed]] .” Garofalo’s work has earned him an impressive reputation, with media like Protocol’s Ben Brody calling him [[link removed]] a “great example” of someone “getting states to take on corporate power [by] bringing the battle to 50 capitals.” Read more about what states can do to fight corporate power in Garofalo’s latest for The Chicago Tribune [[link removed]] , and find out the latest on key fights in Garofalo’s [[link removed]] excellent [[link removed]] newsletter [[link removed]] .
Continuing the Fight Against Big Pharma. Internationally recognized for her work to secure COVID-19 vaccines for all, Economic Liberties’ Lori Wallach [[link removed]] launched our new Rethink Trade program [[link removed]] with an urgent even [[link removed]] t [[link removed]] featuring U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and Jan Schakowsky, Chairwoman of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee [[link removed]] . Together with our key partners, Doctors Without Borders, AccessIBSA, and Partners in Health, Wallach debunked Big Pharma talking points on the TRIPS waiver fight, and explained why securing a vaccine waiver is key to ending the global pandemic. In her first podcast of the year, Wallach digs even deeper into the issue with Health Gap Director Asia Russel. Listen here [[link removed]] .
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