Biden Adviser Tim Wu Bemoans Rise of Corporate Power Across Economy
(Bloomberg) -- White House adviser Tim Wu said the Biden administration intends to implement an aggressive antitrust agenda to reverse an approach to competition policy that he blamed for consolidation across industries and rising prices for consumers.
In a speech Thursday at a conference in New York, Wu said more forceful policing of mergers and conduct by dominant companies is a key element of President Joe Biden’s broader economic policy agenda.
“In too many American industries, there is far too little competition,” he said. “It yields in our view to an economy that is only really working well for the well-off. Market consolidation makes it harder for workers to bargain for higher wages and better work conditions. It’s harder for consumers in a concentrated market to demand lower prices or better quality.”
Biden in July signed an executive order calling on regulators across the federal government to take steps to boost competition in the industries they oversee with the aim of going beyond traditional antitrust enforcement handled by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission. The president blamed decades of unchecked consolidation for harming workers, small businesses and consumers.
Wu said the White House’s new Competition Council, led by National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, is working to coordinate efforts by various federal agencies to enforce their authority in areas affecting competition, with steps already being taken in health care, airlines and meat processing.
“There is a demand that something be done about the economy that feels unfair about an imbalance of power” between citizens and corporations, Wu said
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