IN FOCUS Discussion: Monopolies and Antitrust Lawsuits

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – You may have seen more headlines recently on the subject of monopolies, which Investopedia defines as when a company and its product offerings dominate a particular industry or industry. The term is also often used to describe an entity that has full or near total control of a market. The pandemic has widened the gap further for small businesses, which are unable to compete with corporate giants.

According to AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon, experts and lawmakers have reported that the four largest airlines control about 65% of passenger traffic in the United States, five giant health insurers control about 45% of the market, pharmaceuticals are dominated by three big companies, the top four banks control about 44% of the market, the so-called Big Five book publishers control about 80% of the US book market, and Google alone accounts for about 90% of web searches. in the world. It is estimated that four companies control 80 percent of US meat packaging and the four major brewers and importers control about 76 percent of the US beer market.

Congress, federal regulators and states had already subjected big tech companies to close scrutiny for almost two years, and had even sued some for antitrust. Now that Democrats have a majority in Congress and President Joe Biden signs an executive order targeting technology, mergers and monopolies, attention is spreading to the rest of American businesses.

Republicans express their concern at the galloping concentration of corporate power and stress their belief in competition to keep the economy vibrant. But some say, let’s not punish greatness for itself; better to look at each case individually. They say large companies can achieve economies of scale, lower prices and create jobs.

Matt Stoller, research director of the American Economic Liberties Project and author of “Goliath: the 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy” joined Rosie Nguyen from ABC4 to discuss 1900s companies, what monopolies have done to workers in the steel or railway industry. at this time, the control exercised by the monopolies over daily life and the contributions of Mariner Eccles.

In the second part of the discussion with Stoller, he talked about the current landscape, what economic trading looks like now, what the government’s reaction to economic crises has been (savings / credit scandals in the 1980s, real estate crash in the early 2000s) due to the return to concentrated power, his thoughts on the recent antitrust lawsuits against Big Tech, whether there is an appetite for change now, what concerns him most and what he has the most hope for the future.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes joined the discussion to share his thoughts on whether the opioid crisis in the state is the result of the monopoly practices of the pharmaceutical industry, about his lawsuit against Google, the issues and concerns laid out in the case, and how he thinks about other monopoly companies – both inside and outside of tech.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Stoller and Reyes, click on the video at the top of the article.

Watch IN FOCUS chats with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on weeknights on CW30 News at 7 p.m..

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning reporter who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as a presenter of CW30 News at 7pm. Although no longer in the field, she pursues her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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