To Regulate Big Corporations, Understand How They Got That Way

Corporate power is in the crosshairs of the Biden administration. Through appointments to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission and his own statements, President Biden has signaled a desire to rein in some of the largest corporations in the United States. The DOJ sued Google for monopolistic conduct in January (the second such federal suit against the digital giant), and the FTC is reportedly preparing a lawsuit against Amazon that could be filed in the next few months.

Critics of the administration’s approach have accused antitrust officials of pursuing a “big is bad” policy. Implicitly or explicitly, such critics believe that corporate bigness can yield public benefits, such as lower production costs and the potential for lower consumer prices. They contend that the administration’s antimonopoly efforts could drive up prices and worsen inflation.

But big corporations are not of a piece. Large firms, whether measured by employees,…

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This article was written by Sandeep Vaheesan and originally published on