Alden Global Capital’s Acquisition of Tribune Publishing Should Be Illegal
Washington, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement in response to news that Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known as a destroyer of newspapers due to its history of severe cost-cutting at its other newspaper properties, plans to acquire Tribune Publishing, the publisher of nine major metropolitan dailies including The New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, and The Virginian-Pilot.
“Predatory acquisitions like this should be illegal,” said Matt Stoller, Research Director at the American Economic Liberties Project. “We encourage Joe Biden to appoint strong antitrust enforcers immediately, and to block this merger if possible. In addition, Congress needs to pass the Stop Wall Street Looting Act, which would make buying newspapers just to lay off staff unprofitable.”
“There is a crisis of democracy in America. Since 2005, America has lost 2,100 newspapers, one fourth of its total, leaving 1,800 communities without any local news coverage whatsoever. Many of the remaining 6,700 papers are “ghost papers” doing little newsgathering,” added Stoller. “We need a full spectrum approach to this problem, which includes restructuring the monopolized online advertising market by taking on the power of Google and Facebook, and blocking the ability of predatory financiers to pillage remaining newspapers.”
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. Economic Liberties 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.