Monday, January 8, 2018

Tell Congress: Expose destructive corporate mergers

Petition to Congress:
"Crack down on destructive corporate mergers by supporting the Merger Retrospective Act, which would direct the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice to evaluate whether mergers have resulted in higher prices, lower pay and fewer jobs."
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Expose destructive corporate mergers
In 2017, some of the world’s biggest corporations got even bigger: Amazon merged with Whole Foods, CVS bought its competitor Rite-Aid, and the chemical giants Dow and DuPont became one behemoth.1
After years of conservative lobbying, regulators rarely ask about layoffs or lower wages when evaluating mergers, so corporations get bigger and bigger – and start subverting our democracy, like we saw with the Trump Tax Scam.
Now, the new Congressional Antitrust Caucus is fighting back.2 Progressive champion Rep. Keith Ellison’s new bill would force regulators to look back at corporate promises and shine a light on the destructive results of mergers, and he needs our help.
We need to get 2018 off to a big start by going right at one of the biggest problems in America today: the concentrated economic and political power of massive corporations. Well-heeled corporate executives always claim that tax cuts will create jobs – and then they pocket the profits, announce stock buybacks to reward rich stockholders and lay workers off anyway. That’s almost exactly what happens with big corporate mergers, too.
As long as companies claim they will be more efficient, regulators like the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rarely block mergers. Instead, they allow them to go through with small conditions – promises that corporatations often break or changes that don’t work. Antitrust officials have too often ignored evidence that monopolies and massive companies result in higher prices, lower wages, job losses, and environmental damage.3,4
The Ellison bill, the first from the new “Antitrust Caucus,” aims to shine a light on this record of failure and broken promises.5 It forces the regulators to go back and evaluate whether mergers in the last three years actually delivered or whether they cost jobs and lowered wages. The point of this bill is to uncover the truth about mergers and see whether the phony populists and corporate apologists in both parties are willing to face it.
Massive, international corporations squeeze the wages of working people, trample local business and small producers, and have little incentive to provide good products or services. They also buy our democracy to make it work for them – just look at too-big-to-fail banks on Wall Street. America only has four big airlines, three big health insurance companies, four big cable and internet conglomerates, five big book publishers, and two companies that make 70 percent of all toothpastes. That’s before we get to new firms like Google and Amazon that use their market power to squeeze out competitors. Concentrated markets like these depress wages and raise prices, leaving us all worse off.6
The Antitrust Caucus is starting with a fact-finding mission to counter the lies and propaganda of big corporations. If we’re ever going to rescue our democracy from the alliance of corporate elites and white supremacists like Donald Trump, breaking up big monopolies is the place to start.
Tell Congress: Expose destructive corporate mergers. Click below to sign the petition:
- Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
Sign the petition ►
  1. Tess Townsend, “Keith Ellison and the New ‘Antitrust Caucus’ Want to Know Exactly How Bad Mergers Have Been for the American Public,” New York Magazine, Dec. 4, 2017.
  2. Ibid.
  3. David Dayen, “Bring Back Antitrust,” The American Prospect, November 9, 2015.
  4. David Dayen, “Why Are Drug Monopolies Running Amok? Meet Deborah Feinstein.” The Intercept, December 16, 2015.
  5. Townsend, “Keith Ellison and the New ‘Antitrust Caucus’ Want to Know Exactly How Bad Mergers Have Been for the American Public.”
  6. Dayen, “Bring Back Antitrust.”

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