ProMarket: The Best Political Economy Books of 2020

December 21, 2020 Media

Break ‘Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money by Zephyr Teachout 

Earlier this month, the FTC and over 40 state attorneys general filed antitrust charges against Facebook, seeking to break it up. Days later, dozens of state attorneys general launched two new antitrust cases against Google. These suits, as well as the landmark DOJ antitrust suit against Google that preceded them, are the most significant US antitrust cases since Microsoft. Along with the House Judiciary Report on digital platforms, which also called for structural separations, and the EU’s new Digital Markets Act that alludes to the possibility of similar remedies, they also mark a huge shift in antitrust thinking. How did it come about? No one, perhaps, has made a more forceful case for such remedies than Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout. Break ‘Em Upprovides a comprehensive account of how monopolies not only hurt the economy but also act as political entities, subverting public institutions and the rule of law. Reinvigorating antimonopoly laws and reasserting Congressional supremacy over the Supreme Court in antitrust policy, argues Teachout, are key to saving American democracy from the threat of authoritarianism. Anyone who wishes to understand the current antimonopoly moment we’re in would do well to read this book. [Read our recent interview with Teachout here, as well as her recent testimony before the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee.]