Antitrust: Taking On Monopoly Power From The Gilded Age To The Digital Age

Thornical Press Review

May 25, 2021 

Senator Amy Klobuchar presents a detailed history of trustbusting and how the United States government must continue to be vigilant on preventing the formation of powerful monopolies with modern antitrust policies.

The free enterprise system provides upward mobility and self-reliance for millions of US citizens.  Yet this freedom is threatened by the concentration of corporations and industries, such as the likes of Google and Facebook; both of which control 90% of the industry and ruthlessly control the flow of information.  Just as in the days of railroad and oil monopolies, modern monopolies stifle competition and bring economic disadvantages to consumers and entrepreneurs.

Senator Klobuchar writes a detailed history of the most powerful 19th century monopolies that includes John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil and Cornelius Vanderbilt’s New York Central Railroad.  Both industry giants reaped in fortunes as industrialization spread across America and kept competitors pinned down through control of the market.  

Klobuchar depicts the origins of the “Trustbusters” that fought to counter growing power of the Gilded Age’s most powerful monopolies.  In 1890, Ohio Senator John Sherman introduced the first federal law to break up trusts and end restrictive trade practices.  The law was rarely enforced until Theodore Roosevelt took office and tried to deconstruct the Northern Securities Railroad monopoly.  Despite Roosevelts renown as the “trustbusting” president, Howard Taft would be credited with breaking up many more trusts and monopolies, such as Standard Oil in 1911.

Senator Klobuchar explores monopolistic power in the digital age, mergers in the high tech and health care industries, and litigation made against Google and Facebook.  Not only do digital age monopolies dominate and control markets, but they display an alarming fascistic control of free speech and thought.  At one time, American companies honored the American cultural acceptance of First Amendment Rights.

Klobuchar discusses Big Pharma price gouging practices, as well as the tech, media, entertainment, and agriculture sectors, to see how a market with few participants, or one business controlling distribution, may affect consumer costs and hamper innovation. 

Senator Klobuchar is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights.  Klobuchar’s knowledge of antitrust laws and mission to improve them in the face of modern monopolies is presented as a path to safeguard Americans from monopolies limiting competition and acquiring large amounts of information.

Publication Date: April 27, 2021 | ISBN: 978-0-525-65489-6

Page Count: 624 | Publisher: Knopf 

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