Antitrust

The Return of Antitrust

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From the New York Times:

President Obama's top antitrust official and some senior Democratic lawmakers are preparing to rein in a host of major industries, including airline and railroad giants […]

Did you know Continental still existed? Anyway, antitrust!

The official, Christine A. Varney, the antitrust chief at the Justice Department, has begun examining complaints by the phone companies Verizon and AT&T that their rivals — major cable operators like Cablevision and Cox Communications — improperly prevent them from buying sports shows and other programs that the cable companies produce, industry lawyers said.

At the request of some lawmakers, notably Senator Bernard Sanders, independent of Vermont, Ms. Varney is examining whether small agricultural operations are being hampered unfairly by large food processors, particularly in the milk industry, congressional aides said.

Ms. Varney has also challenged agreements that the Federal Trade Commission and consumer groups say discourage pharmaceutical companies from marketing more generic drugs. And she is examining a settlement between Google and book publishers and authors to make more books available online. […]

It is a major policy reversal from the Bush administration, which did not prosecute cases in which some dominant companies engaged in potentially anticompetitive behavior, often because those officials maintained such behavior was not harmful to consumers.

Note that regulators are taking actions out of worry that some drug companies aren't advertising as much as they should, even as lawmakers are busy pushing legislation to cut back on drug advertising (which will no doubt hurt minority broadcasters, who will no doubt keep asking for a bailout). There is a lesson here.

Reason on antitrust here.

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  1. Continental Congress? Very clever photo.

  2. And she is examining a settlement between Google and book publishers and authors to make more books available online.

    Fuck you, government. FUCK. YOU.

  3. “A feral pig has become a libertarian hero in Florida after evading capture for five months.”

    Calling David Weigel a libertarian is an insult to libertarian and pigs a like

  4. AT&T?

    Take that video deleting youtube and google.

    Bring Back Weigel fan club | July 27, 2009, 9:59am | #

    You want the house next door.

  5. How many monopolies are sustainable absent government regulation or interference? So once again, the gummint gonna fix the problems they created. Talk about job security.

  6. Breaking your leg and lauding themselves for giving you a crutch, T.

  7. The comedy of antitrust litigation during a time when the government is trying to take over healthcare is just too rich.

  8. I exist, therefore I have a right to other shit that exists.

    That’s the mentality behind all this arbitrary leftist crap.

  9. President Obama’s top antitrust official and some senior Democratic lawmakers are preparing to rein in a host of major industries, including airline and railroad giants

    Does that mean they’re gonna break up Amtrak?

  10. Jesus Christ. These retards really are trying to suck FDR’s dead cock.

  11. Does that mean they’re gonna break up Amtrak?

    Seriously. Has anyone ever tried to use antitrust law against the federal government?

  12. Is there anything on the Dem wish list that they won’t be trying? When do we get 90% marginal interest rates again?

  13. Seriously. Has anyone ever tried to use antitrust law against the federal government?

    RICO would probably be more applicable.

  14. I’m all for antitrust as long as we’re talking about getting rid of companies that are deemed “too big to [be allowed to] fail.” Such companies are a terroristic threat to all taxpayers. They can hold us at ransom. NO company should be permitted to get so big that the economy depends on its survival.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t look like this is the type of trust-busting they’re talking about.

  15. ‘The Return of Antitrust’

    Antitrust isn’t the only thing that’s been making a comeback lately.

    This column by Jeff Jacoby discusses how two recent news items have brought the eugenics issue back into public notice:

    ‘WHAT DO Richard Nixon and Ruth Bader Ginsburg have in common?

    ‘Not much linked the former president, who died in 1994, and the associate justice now in her 17th year on the Supreme Court. But each was in the news recently with a cringe-inducing comment about abortion. Those comments – one spoken privately long ago, one uttered publicly this month – are a reminder of the ease with which educated elites can decide that some people’s lives have no value.

    ‘Nixon was meeting with an aide in the White House on Jan. 23, 1973, when the conversation – recorded on tapes newly released by the Nixon Presidential Library – turned to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision the day before. Though generally against abortion, Nixon said it was “necessary” in some cases, such as interracial pregnancies. “There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he explained. “Or rape.”

    ‘Ginsburg’s words were even creepier.

    ‘”Reproductive choice has to be straightened out,” she said in a recent New York Times interview. She was referring to the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of Medicaid funds for abortions – a law the Supreme Court upheld in Harris v. McRae in 1980. “Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. . . But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way.”. . .’

  16. Can we change the name of “anti-trust” to “Whiny little bitches using the gummint to get a leg up on competitors”?

  17. Is there anything on the Dem wish list that they won’t be trying?

    I heard there’s even a bill pending requiring 10% of all pants sold to be elephant leg bellbottoms. They just can’t enough of the 70’s.

  18. NO company should be permitted to get so big that the economy depends on its survival.

    There aren’t any. That was just bullshit to stave off panic. If we’d have let AIG declare bankruptcy and wind things up in an orderly fashion, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    US GDP is roughly 14 trillion. AIG at the peak was only doing abut 110 billion. Even accounting for some cascade effects, that’s just not enough to shut down the economy.

  19. Note how many of these antitrust investigations stem not from complaints from an outraged, abused public, but from competitors who cannot keep up with the market leaders.

  20. You mean all of them?

  21. Senator Bernard Sanders, independent Socialist of Vermont,

    FTFY. And no, that’s not name-calling, that’s what he calls himself!

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