Corporate America’s Second War With the Rule of Law (Wired)

Uber, Facebook, and Google are increasingly behaving like the law-flouting financial empires of the 1920s. We know how that turned out. (Wired)

Last month, after a fierce lobbying battle, California passed a law that will likely end up mandating that companies in the “gig economy,” such as Uber, treat gig workers as employees. After losing the battle to carve out an exception for Uber drivers, Uber’s general counsel, former Obama official Tony West, announced the company simply did not believe the law applied to it. Disrespect toward law is not a surprise at Uber. From the very beginning, leaders there have often seen laws as something to be tested, not followed; at one point in 2017, the company was under five separate criminal investigations.

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Why U.S. Businesses Want Trustbusting (WSJ)

The loudest complaints against today’s monopolies come not from Occupy Wall Street types but from leaders of firms seeking freedom of commerce (Wall Street Journal)

Trustbusting is back, and it’s a bipartisan effort. Last month, 50 state attorneys general, led by the conservative Republican Ken Paxton of Texas, announced an investigation of Google for anticompetitive conduct. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri has been a fierce critic of big tech, as has the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee, which is probing the sector. Several Democratic presidential candidates have pledged to address the problem of concentrated power not just in tech but in agriculture, defense and media too.

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A Return to 1912: The Antitrust Center Will Not Hold

Matt Stoller discusses the current ideological shift in antitrust law, relating it to lax enforcement of antitrust and the resulting radical concentration of corporate power over the last forty years. (Concurrences)

In the crises of the 1930s, one of the great investigations in American history was done by a pugnacious working-class lawyer, Ferdinand Pecora, who embarrassed the lords of Wall Street in 1933 as the lead counsel for the Senate Banking Committee. A few years later, as a judge, Pecora observed why countries all over the world were taking the road to fascism or Communism. “In other lands democratic government has abdicated to dictatorship,” he said, “not because men no longer wished to be free, but because democratic governments become impotent to deal with economic problems.”

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