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Over the past decade, large technology firms created an incredible amount of wealth and power. President Biden recently signed an executive order promoting competition in the American economy. With Lina Khan as the new Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, the federal government is looking to change antitrust policies. We speak with economists Luigi Zingales and Carl Shapiro on the topic.
Both economists agree that the executive order will not immediately address the problems of Big Tech. A few decades ago, a new school of thought changed how government officials and scholars approach competition law. The new school promoted consumer welfare rather than focusing on alleged harm to competitors in the marketplace and supply chain. Critics of that new approach say it's made it much more difficult to file antitrust cases.
Both economists are concerned with the concentration of economic power within fewer firms. They agree on the importance of regulation and transparency. Lawmakers have many tough decisions to make, but there is still hope in promoting fair competition in the market.
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