Antitrust for All of Us
January 12, 2024
The reinvigorated fight against market consolidation is a fight against lower standards of living.
The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.
Confronting Market Power
Rising market power in the United States has resulted in higher corporate profits, more concentrated markets in various sectors, and less economic competition. Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz wrote this week about how the Biden administration is seriously addressing these threats to the dynamism of the US economy—and to the well-being of workers.
Federal antitrust authorities have successfully pressured companies to halt mergers, such as last month’s failed effort by Adobe to acquire Figma. In December, the Department of Justice also released updated merger guidelines that place both horizontal and vertical consolidation under increased scrutiny.
“We all suffer from market power because it distorts markets in ways that reduce overall productivity and allows firms to raise prices, thus lowering standards of living,” Stiglitz writes. “At the same time, the combination of growing market power and weakening worker power has held down wages, eroding living standards still further.”
What We’re Talking About
Before we dig into an interesting upside CPI report, we now have the full 2023 data now.
And we can see, using the best proxy we have for core inflation going back to the 1940s, that 2023's disinflation looked like the post-WWII period, not the 1970-80s one. Remarkable story.
— Mike Konczal (@mtkonczal) January 11, 2024
What We’re Reading
US Moves Closer to Filing Sweeping Antitrust Case against Apple – New York Times
The US Is Reaping the Benefits of Low Unemployment – New Yorker
CFPB Report Finds Long-Predicted Student Loan Servicer Problems – The American Prospect