The Breakdown: Are Antitrust Laws a Thing of the Past?

The Breakdown: Are Antitrust Laws a Thing of the Past?

The Breakdown: Are Antitrust Laws a Thing of the Past?

With AT&T’s announcement that it will buy T-Mobile, the wireless industry goes from four major carriers to three. Does anyone care about antitrust laws anymore?

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With AT&T’s announcement that it will buy T-Mobile, the wireless industry goes from four major carriers to three. Does anyone care about antitrust and consumer protection laws anymore?

This past month AT&T announced plans to buy T-Mobile for $39 billion. The mega-merger will cut down the number of major wireless carriers from 4 to only 3, a consolidation of the market that doesn’t bode well for either those who rely on the industry for their livelihood or for customers. While cohorts of the wireless industry are urging Congress and the FCC not to use the merger as an excuse to create new regulations, others are beginning to wonder why even our existing antitrust and consumer protection laws don’t seem to apply anymore. On this week’s edition of The Breakdown, DC Editor Chris Hayes and journalist Barry C. Lynn track the historical trajectory of antitrust ideology in the US and discuss the legal antecedents and arguments that could be used to prevent further consolidation in major industries.

Further Reading:
Barry C. Lynn’s new book about the growing threat of monopoly capitalism, Cornered.
Barry C. Lynn and Phillip Longman on how monopolization is destroying jobs.
Annie Lowrey’s Slate article on why the AT&T merger is a bad idea.
Click here for a full transcript of this week’s episode of The Breakdown.

Subscribe to The Breakdown on iTunes to listen to fresh takes on the confusing concepts that make politics, economics and government tick. A new episode every week!

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