Column: Biden Could Remake American Society by Reviving Antitrust Enforcement


Professor Zephyr Teachout was quoted in The Los Angeles Times, sharing her expert opinion on antitrust enforcement in the Biden administration.

It’s already clear that the Biden administration intends not merely to eradicate any trace of Trumpism from American politics, but to return government economic policy to the inclusive traditions of the New Deal.
That’s evident from the scope of the American Rescue Plan’s support for working families grappling with the effects of COVID-19, and the support for job-training, home-care workers and union membership in Biden’s infrastructure proposal.
But Biden has another sterling opportunity to make American society more equitable: by reviving antitrust enforcement.
“Forty years of weak antimonopoly policy has led to such extreme concentration,” Zephyr Teachout of Fordham Law School told the House antitrust subcommittee last April, “that case-by-case efforts will not lead to decentralization quickly enough. We need new tools to enable break-ups.”
She’s right. The two most important antitrust cases currently on the federal docket, targeting Google and Facebook, are so complex that they’re not even likely to get to trial for two or three years.
The cases were filed last year. The FTC is seeking to break up Facebook by forcing it to divest Instagram and WhatsApp; the DOJ hasn’t been explicit about what remedies it seeks against Google.
The “tech Goliaths” Amazon, Facebook and Google, as Teachout labeled them, have become so powerful that “huge parts of our economy are becoming corrosively dependent economic subspheres” in which other participants, large and small, are concerned with appeasing them instead of “innovation, job growth, creativity and productive capacity. “

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