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Trump’s No Friend of Competition

Author Ethan Gurwitz argues that since taking office, Trump’s actions have signaled, at best, a decidedly more passive approach to industry mergers and, at worst, a dangerous desire to use such tools as leverage.

During the election, Donald Trump took everyone by surprise when he came out swinging against consolidated economic power. He whacked AT&T’s merger with Time Warner calling it “too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” Of Comcast’s acquisition of NBC, Trump declared, “Deals like this destroy democracy.” Trump went after Amazon, calling it a “huge antitrust problem” and asserting that Jeff Bezos, its founder, had purchased The Washington Post to protect the company and its “monopolistic tendencies.” Trump targeted the pharmaceutical industry saying, “Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists, a lot of power.”

Almost Rooseveltian in some of his rhetoric, Trump seemed, at the time, to have tapped into something. Not only did he appear to demonstrate an acute awareness of economic concentration, but he made clear that his administration would be a bulwark against such dominance; what Trump had called the “the power structure I’m fighting.”

The above excerpt was originally published in Democracy Journal. Click here to view the full article.

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Ethan Gurwitz

Policy Analyst

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