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Today, reports indicate that Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will reveal an economic agenda with components focused on competition policy entitled, “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future.” The “Better Deal” plan aims to “revisit antitrust laws and regulatory tools to ensure that the economic freedom of all Americans -- consumers, workers, and small businesses -- comes before big corporations.”
According to published documents on Axios, the competition component of the plan will:
- Prevent big mergers that would harm consumers, workers, and competition.
- Require regulators to review mergers after completion to ensure they continue to promote competition.
- Create a 21st century “Trust Buster” to stop abusive corporate conduct and the exploitation of market power where it already exists.
The following can be attributed to Public Knowledge President and CEO Gene Kimmelman:
“These competition policy proposals are music to our ears because they directly address the monopolistic price gouging and hassles consumers face day-in and day-out from key industries that have consolidated into a few giant, dominant companies. Now we need the Administration and Congress to drive these policies forward and deliver lower prices, more fairness and opportunity for consumers and market innovators.”
The “Better Deal” competition component follows the Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s latest antitrust paper, “A Communications Oligopoly on Steroids: Why antitrust enforcement and regulatory oversight in digital communications matter,” by Public Knowledge President and CEO, Gene Kimmelman, and Consumer Federation of America’s research director, Mark Cooper.
The paper reviews the importance of digital communications platforms as well as their business dynamics and natural incentives for their owners to overcharge consumers. The authors argue that these increasingly anti-competitive digital business practices drag on our nation’s economic growth, causing consumers to overspend on these services far beyond what is necessary to induce any increased productive investments. You may view the paper here.