Home anti consumer The United States is attacking its corporate monopolies – now the rest of the world must follow

The United States is attacking its corporate monopolies – now the rest of the world must follow


This is only the beginning and the gains are still fragile politically, with most of Trump’s Republicans siding with Big Money. But these are potentially the most ambitious antitrust reforms – and potentially the most ambitious economic reforms – since the 1970s.

The emerging anti-monopoly movement supports pretty much the entire progressive agenda – curb the power of oversized finance, fight against inequalities, protect democracy, support workers, defend local communities against wealth extractors from outside, withdraw private equity predation, punishing rich offenders, and more. But he also supports many ideals that Tories are equally comfortable with – tackling corrupt markets, helping small businesses, rebalancing the economy to ‘level’ slack regions, spur innovation and innovation. economic growth, providing opportunities for all, and more. The new movement enjoys significant support among Republicans in the United States, and now some conservatives in the UK are also interested in reversing Bork’s legacy. This agenda is now up for grabs here, for any political party that wishes. As in the United States, it will prove to be immensely popular and difficult to oppose.

A rich and extensive attack on monopoly power has opened in the United States, with Big Tech first in the limelight. But the movement has a much wider field of vision: large agricultural companies, aerospace giants, dominant banks, telecommunications companies and even cheerleaders. He wants to expand the attention of people as consumers, to people as citizens and as workers. She wants above all to revolutionize the story on how to deal with excessive corporate power.

Wake up, Europe

One more amazing thing about all of this is that despite the progress made in the United States, there is no corresponding civil society movement in the UK, Europe or elsewhere. Nothing like it from a distance. It is true that there are many isolated initiatives that are bubbling up, such as a recent request of 27 German NGOs that Europe begins to dismantle the big companies; wishing alliances Make Amazon Pay; and activists while searching tax justice for the giant monopolies. Groups lobby for specific agendas such as on interoperability, privacy and digital rights, and trade associations seeking to open up the web to protect small businesses from giants. There is a lot going on, but no coherent and unifying movement.

Competition regulators in some countries are ahead of activists in some areas. EU digital services law, for example, has a rudimentary spine. The British CMA recently opposed some mergers: for example, it wants to force Facebook to disgor Giphy, a sort of rupture (although much less powerful than what Lina Khan’s Federal Trade Commission look for) and that seems to be want to prevent Sony Music from buying a British independent label, AWAL. But a CMA endowed with sufficient resources, taking into account the good mandate and political support, and a modern worldview, could transform our economic landscape. For example, it could put an end to Britain’s current sale of much of our economy to private equity. Private equity is perhaps the closest modern equivalent of the large financial trusts of a century ago, and its financial firepower violently distorts the markets. But who is pushing for something like this?

A new movement

About a year ago, one of the authors of this article, Michelle Meagher, read a Blog 2019 by other co-author, Nicholas Shaxson, who explored the overlap between tax havens and monopoly power. “European civil society is practically asleep,” the article read, asserting that Someone necessary to put together an organization, to try to start a real anti-monopoly movement, on this side of the Atlantic, at the level of activism in the United States. We talked to each other and decided to create an organization to try to do this. We have formally implemented the Balanced economy project four months ago, and our main goals are to change the weather on monopolies and antitrust: both to make people aware of the immense potential that antitrust has to meet some of the greatest challenges of our time, and also to help fundamentally rethink the philosophy and tools that our competition authorities use. We also want to help build a ‘missing infrastructure’ to ensure that concentrated and dominant private power is constantly challenged by the workers, small businesses and citizens most directly affected by it.

We have confirmed through over 100 interviews with small businesses, unions, farmers, politicians, think tanks, bankers and activists that there is a huge divide in civil society – and a huge opportunity. We don’t need to cut and paste what Americans do: Brits and Europeans have different appetites for taxes, for personal freedom, for government intervention, or for privacy than Americans.

But what is needed now is radicalism, a new story and a new movement to change the conversation about what is possible and to deliver monopoly justice.


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