The Curse of Bigness Antitrust in the New Gilded Age
From the man who coined the term "net neutrality" and who has made significant contributions to our understanding of antitrust policy and wireless communications, comes a call for tighter antitrust enforcement and an end to corporate bigness.
We live in an "oligopoly age" in which many industries are controlled by just a few firms—big banks, big pharma, big tech. Bigness has concentrated not just economic but also political power in too few hands. It has become too much of a drain on the nation's economy, and too far a deviation from the type of open capitalism that has, at times, created broad-based wealth and promised a sense of opportunity to every generation. There is a good reason to believe that we once again face “The Curse of Bigness," in the phrase used by Justice Louis Brandeis, to describe the challenges confronting the United States a century ago. Columbia law professor Tim Wu tells the story of what went wrong, and calls for recovering the lost tenets of trustbusters as part of a broader revival of American progressive ideas in a new age of extreme economic inequality.
Tim Wu is a policy advocate, a professor at Columbia Law School and an opinion writer for The New York Times. He is known for coining the phrase "net neutrality." A scholar of the media and technology industries, he was named to The National Law Journal's "America's 100 Most Influential Lawyers" in 2013, as well as to the "Politico 50" in 2014 and 2015. He has served as a Senior Advisor to the Federal Trade Commission; was a senior enforcement counsel and special advisor at the New York Office of the Attorney General; and was a member of President Obama's National Economic Council, where he worked on competition policy. His previous books are The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires and The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside our Heads.