The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Hamid Bendaas, 202-450-0491

Reps. Ellison, Jayapal, Pocan and Cicilline Introduce Antitrust Legislation


U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI) yesterday introduced the 21st Century Competition Commission Act (H.R. 4686), which would fund the creation of a new body charged with investigating the impact of corporate mergers and increasing market concentration. The representatives' bill would model the new commission on the Temporary National Economic Committee that existed during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration.

"Monopolistic corporations have grown so big and powerful that they have hijacked our democratic process and our daily lives, leading us to a new Gilded Age," said Rep. Ellison. "This sweeping bill aims to analyze all the ways monopolization has made our economy worse for working families, and help our government use existing antitrust laws to fix it."

"Robust anti-trust laws help protect everyday people and ensure that hardworking Americans have good wages, and that businesses are incentivized to improve consumer services and provide competitive prices," said Rep. Jayapal. "I'm proud to cosponsor the 21st Century Competition Commission Act. If Republicans are serious about protecting Main Street, not Wall Street, they will join us in passing this bill to simply assess the scope of America's market concentration problem."

"This bill is an important step in the anti-monopoly movement," Said Lina Khan of Open Markets Institute. "The first TNEC, and similar investigations such as the Pujo and Pecora hearings, helped expose the extremity of America's concentration problem. They prompted public officials and private parties to bring hundreds of lawsuits enforcing the antitrust laws, based on the information that these commissions uncovered. This effort will similarly fuel critical reforms."

Rep. Keith Ellison has represented the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota in the U.S. House of Representatives since taking office on January 4, 2007. The Fifth Congressional District is the most vibrant and diverse district in Minnesota with a rich history and traditions. The Fifth District includes the City of Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs.