Monopoly; a word that is often associated with late nights and ruined friendships. However, in the real world it is far more pervasive. A monopoly is where a company and/or its products wholly dominates a particular market/sector/or industry to the point that entry is almost impossible for any competitor. Monopolies are often considered the by-product (albeit the extreme version) of free-market capitalism when restrictions or regulations are not implemented and an entity becomes so large that they control nearly all goods, commodities, or infrastructures for a particular field. Basically, when an entity controls everything.
The dawn of the 20th century saw a public outcry and push back against monopiles and many legal hearings forced the breakups of a number of several large companies. This continued through the midcentury but slowly and quietly power is once again consolidating into smaller and smaller groups. For example, in 1983 90 percent of the media that was taken in was owned by 50 different companies. In 2011 that number shrank down to 6. The hundreds of channels you surf through, the countless movies you scroll past on any number of applications are all owned by either GE, Newscorp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS. Scary.
This weeks guest is an expert in such a field and has made it his work to bring this information to light. This week on The Malliard Report Jim welcomes Matt Stoller to the show for a brief, but powerful interview. Matt is “… the author of the book Goliath: The Hundred Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy. Stoller is a former policy advisor to the Senate Budget Committee. He also worked for a member of the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives during the financial crisis. He has lectured on competition policy and media at Harvard Law, Duke Law, Bertelsmann Foundation, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, West Point and the National Communications Commission of Taiwan. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Fast Company, Foreign Policy, the Guardian, Vice, The American Conservative, and the Baffler.”
Matt does a fantastic job at efficiently breaking down how we got to where we are today, and what are some possible outcomes for the future. You can pick up Matt’s latest book from all major online retailers or through his website mattstoller.com. For all things Malliard, make sure to head over to malliard.com where you can catch up on past shows, sign up for the newsletter, and round yourself up some great merch. Make sure to share, rate, and subscribe to the show through your favorite podcasting app, and if you can drop by Duck Pond chat room every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST for lively debate and discussion with other fans!