As monopolies grow, regulators seem puny


In the face of growing market power by monopolistic companies, regulators seem to be supine and ineffective. This seems to be the conclusion in our latest Open Markets Outlook

  • “The Federal Trade Commission should do its damn job” according to Open Markets Fellow, Matt Stoller.
  • He was commenting in the wake of a strongly worded demand by two cross-party US senators sent to the FTC urging it “to move to compel sweeping changes to end [Facebook’s] pattern of misuse and abuse of personal data.” and complaining that handing out fines is ‘a bargain’ for the company: like a traffic cop “handing out speeding tickets to companies profiting off breaking the law,”
  • In a recent report for the Adam Smith Institute, Professor Kevin Dowd argues that “The system is designed by the banks to fail and the regulators are too weak and too captured to resist them.”
  • Of the Bank of England he says: “They paint a picture of an incompetent and self-serving public agency with an inadequate governance structure.”
  • Dowd puts forward four principles to guide banking reform
  • Amazon is trying to grab a share of the $3.25 trillion US government procurement market
  • Gayle Shanks last year successfully pushed her local authority to stop buying from the company saying “Because of Amazon entire industries are dissolving.At a certain point, we have to ask ourselves, how big are we going to let Amazon get?”
  • Will the failed Sainsbury-Asda merger lead to even longer delays in the supermarkets paying their suppliers?
  • UK supermarkets continued to increase the amount of time taken to pay their suppliers – 40 days, up from 38 reported by Companies House in the previous year: up 18 per cent since 2013, when it stood at 34 days
  • Has conventional economics “actually delivered a semi-privatised authoritarianism more oppressive than the system it replaced..?” asks George Monbiot in the context of uncontrolled oligopolies

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