46 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 23 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Mis-Trust on Anti-Trust

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler
Become a Fan
  (31 fans)
Recent days have seen news regarding two proposed mergers. In one, the satellite radio networks XM and Sirius announced plans to become a single company. In the other, Whole Foods announced plans to swallow Wild Oats.

When I was growing up in America a half century ago, it was my impression that the idea of government playing an Anti-Trust role was taken very seriously. The legacy of the progressives who gave us the Sherman Ant-Trust Act was still very much alive. If a merger was foreseeably going to impair the competitiveness of the market, and thus be contrary to the public interest, the government would likely block the merger. The anti-trust division of the Department of Justice had an important job to do.

So how about these mergers. Do they have any implication for competitiveness? Do these mergers threaten to have an adverse impact on American consumers?

The answer to these questions seems evident from the way the business media were discussing the merits of the proposed mergers. In both cases, it was expected that the newly combined firms, no longer constrained by competition from its former rival, would be able to raise prices.

Which is hardly surprising-- particularly in the case of XM and Sirius, which together comprise the ENTIRE satellite radio business. With Whole Foods and Wild Oats, the monopoly would be less complete. But surely between them they constitute enough of the natural foods market to represent substantial market power.

The analysts see this market power, and forecast that the new companies will be able to raise prices. Presumably what these analysts can see, so also can the anti-trust authorities.

But despite these grounds for regarding these mergers as injurious to market competitive and to the public interest, does anyone nowadays expect the U.S. government to block these deals the companies have worked out?

I wish I could say that I see a force out there to protect the public interest, but I don't.
Rate It | View Ratings

Andrew Schmookler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

How Important is the Loss of Friendship?

# 8 Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

Power and Corruption: Just What Is Their Relationship?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend