For Immediate Release
25+ National & State Orgs Urge Congress to Pass the Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act
New letter explains why a merger moratorium is essential for stopping a monopoly free-for-all.
WASHINGTON - As large corporations and predatory financiers seek to exploit the global pandemic and further concentrate their economic and political power, 27 national and state organizations today sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, urging them to include the Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act in the next COVID-19 relief package. The organizations, which represent working people, economic and social justice advocates, antitrust leaders and more, emphasize the dangers of concentrated corporate power and warn of a coming merger wave financed with public money.
The CARES Act authorized the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department to extend $4 trillion of credit to big corporations and Wall Street. That’s equivalent to a $13,000 loan to every single person in America. Without safeguards like Senator Warren’s and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act, corporations and predatory financiers are likely to use this publicly financed credit to merge with or acquire distressed businesses, hurting workers, consumers and our communities, and making the problem of monopolies and corporate power even worse.
“Passing the Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act, which is supported by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of Americans, is the very least Congress can do,” said Economic Liberties Executive Director Sarah Miller. “If Congress does not stop big corporations from using public money to buy their competitors, we will see a tsunami of corporate mergers that will devastate workers, small businesses, and the communities they support.”
“Now is the time for this country to invest in relief, innovation, ownership, entrepreneurship and worker protections, not bail out or incentivize corporate juggernauts,” said Brandi Collins-Dexter, Senior Campaign Director at Color Of Change. “Corporate concentration has already led to a ventilator shortage, facilitated drug pricing increases, weakened food safety standards and further eroded the rights of frontline workers. All of those harms disproportionately hit Black communities, who are already dying at higher rates. We are thankful to Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Warren, and we urge congress to act quickly to halt predatory actors capitalizing on a global crisis."
"Concentration of corporate power leads directly to worse outcomes for Black and Brown folks in everything from Pharma to employment to Banking,” said Maurice BP-Weeks, Co-Executive Director of the Action Center on Race and the Economy. “Instead of making it easier to extract money from Black and Brown communities, Congress must act now to prioritize assistance in a way that allows these communities to thrive. The Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act is a crucial step.”
“The unchecked power of monopolies is quite literally killing the planet,” said Evan Weber, Political Director of Sunrise Movement. “We can’t afford to allow big corporations to further consolidate power in this moment of crisis.”
Study after study point to the deleterious effects of this monopoly power on our society and democracy. The average U.S. family is $5,000 poorer due to corporate concentration. Monopolies pay workers less: research shows the median annual compensation – now only $33,000 – would be more than $10,000 higher if employers were less concentrated. They also charge consumers more. Mergers between companies result in a 7 percent price increase, while markups—how much companies charge for products beyond their production costs—have tripled since 1980. And as corporate monopolies extract more and more wealth and power from working people, economic inequality grows.
Read the full letter here.
Action Center on Race and the Economy
American Economic Liberties Project
Artist Rights Alliance
Be A Hero
Center for Digital Democracy
Center for Popular Democracy
Color of Change
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Food & Water Action
Friends of the Earth
Future of Music Coalition
National Family Farm Coalition
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates
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Economic Liberties works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. AELP believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.