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OpenMarket: Business and Government

  • Top Ten Antitrust Targets

    December 10, 2018
    Columbia University professor Tim Wu is author of the new book The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age, which calls for a more active approach to antitrust regulation (see also Richard Epstein’s review in The Wall Street Journal). Wu wants to see more “big cases” along the lines of previous lawsuits against Standard Oil, AT&T, and IBM. The last such case was against Microsoft, nearly two decades ago.
  • Fighting for Small Business: Whiskey Edition

    December 6, 2018
    This week marks the 85th anniversary of the end of Prohibition, and we still have a lot to learn from that dismal experiment in government overreach. As my colleague Michelle Minton points out, many states still make it impossible to purchase alcohol on Christmas, New Year’s Day, and other festive holidays. And the prohibitionist impulse is hardly confined to brewed, fermented, and distilled beverages. As our old video from 2007 points out, the government is working feverishly in the present day to forbid everything from plastic bags and bull terriers to trans fats and sagging pants.  
  • Last-Minute Delay in CVS-Aetna Deal Could Threaten Consumer Benefits

    December 6, 2018
    U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon surprised many on Monday when he announced he may halt the integration of CVS pharmacy’s assets with the nation’s third largest healthcare insurance company, Aetna. Usually the judicial review of a merger already approved by the Department of Justice is a mere formality, as evidenced by the fact that the companies went ahead and closed the $69 billion deal late last month, but at a hearing Monday, Judge Leon said he has concerns about the merger’s consequences for consumers.
  • Don't Blame Google for a Feature Consumers Want

    December 6, 2018
    It’s very rare I disagree with the great freedom-loving journalist John Stossel, but his column at Townhall this week made me raise an eyebrow. In it, he criticizes Google and its platform YouTube for having “power they shouldn’t have.” He was concerned that YouTube would “not allow” his new video, “Socialism Leads to Violence” to be viewed by young people. After his complaint, Google apparently lifted the restriction.
  • New Ideas for Addressing Poverty and Inequality

    November 30, 2018
    While the political headlines this week are dominated by a public feud between the Secretary of the Interior and the likely incoming chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, there are some people in Washington, D.C. who are still working on serious public policy issues.
  • GM Layoffs, Tariffs, and Subsidies

    November 28, 2018
    CEI's Ryan Young explores the lessons policymakers should learn from General Motors’ announcement of layoffs and plant closures.
  • Freedom and Whiskey Go Together

    November 15, 2018
    Recently Dave Sussman of the show Whiskey Politics featured myself and my old pals Drew Tidwell and Helen Straight of Passing Lane Films on his show to discuss the Competitive Enterprise Institute film: “I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit.”
  • Repeal Barriers to Competition: Abolish Antitrust

    November 14, 2018
    My colleague Iain Murray has some excellent new content out today in the form of a Web Memo titled “How Antitrust Regulation Hinders Innovation and Competition: Framing a Broken Debate.” Iain briskly defines the three major perspectives on antitrust theory (interventionist, consumer welfare, and free market) and steers readers toward an appreciation that antitrust enforcement itself—along with similar economic regulations—are often the cause of, rather than solution to, consumer harm.
  • Happy 50th Anniversary to Reason

    November 9, 2018
    Congratulations to our friends at Reason magazine (and the Reason Foundation) on their golden anniversary. Some members of the Competitive Enterprise Institute team were recently out on the West Coast for the festivities, and returned refreshed and ready for another 50 years of free minds and free markets.
  • What Do the Midterms Mean for Big Tech?

    November 8, 2018
    For the big technology firms, the midterm elections were never going to change much.  Whatever the result, they were going to face more scrutiny over the next year. The only difference is in what sort of scrutiny. If anything, the split in control of the chambers presents the worst of both worlds.

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