Distribution, Competition, and Antitrust / IP Law

Are Monopolies the Cause of All Economic Problems?

No.  But a couple articles are effectively raising the question.

The pendulum usually swings between over-enforcement and under-enforcement.  The two recent articles are beating the drum for more vigorous Section 2 enforcement.

The first – “Why Is It So Hard for Americans to Get a Decent Raise?” – suggests that monopoly (actually, monopsony) power is to blame for wage stagnation.

But the article notes that the study it describes may not account for the effects of bad local or national economies.

The second (Wall Street Journal, behind the paywall) – “The Antitrust Case Against Facebook, Google and Amazon” – argues that the big tech giants (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) are the modern-day equivalents of Standard Oil and AT&T.  The article restates some familiar arguments about platforms and network effects without really detailing the ways in which modern networks may differ from 19th century industrial trusts.

Seems like the pendulum may be swinging again . . . .

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About Howard Ullman

Antitrust, competition, and IP law enthusiast.

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