Episode

5/8 Time to Rein in Toxic Monopolies w/ Stacy Mitchell

May 8, 2018

On today’s show, Stacy Mitchell, (@stacyfmitchell) the co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, joins us to explain how to rein in toxic monopolies.

How Amazon cornered the online retail market with its “free” shipping option. How Amazon is not just a retailer, but an infrastructure company that owns the platform, cloud computing and (soon!) shipping service that everyone is forced to use. How Amazon’s monopoly enables it to rip off small businesses and bump up its own search results. How Amazon uses predatory pricing to force smaller companies to sell or perish. The principles of democracy and fairness that drove antitrust laws in the 1890s-1930s and why those laws stopped being enforced in the 1970s/1980s. The influence of the Bork school’s assumption that bigger is always better. How monopolies concentrate political power, drive down wages and hinder the growth of small businesses without giving much of a price break to the consumer. The rubber stamped merger of Amazon and Whole Foods and Amazon’s plans to use the upscale grocery store chain as distribution centers. Six proposals to reign in monopolies: hold field hearings, “bring daylight to antitrust agencies,” set a higher bar for mergers, break up big tech, enact legal regulations, and pass local antitrust laws.

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