Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea


The dreaded The New York Times has the surprising article Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea. The subtitle to the article is “With a single scholarly article, Lina Khan, 29, has reframed decades of monopoly law.”

This is an important article because lack of anti-trust action is a major cause of how our economy has gone wrong with its extra wide income disparity.

In early 2017, when she was an unknown law student, Ms. Khan published “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” in the Yale Law Journal. Her argument went against a consensus in antitrust circles that dates back to the 1970s — the moment when regulation was redefined to focus on consumer welfare, which is to say price. Since Amazon is renowned for its cut-rate deals, it would seem safe from federal intervention.

Ms. Khan disagreed. Over 93 heavily footnoted pages, she presented the case that the company should not get a pass on anticompetitive behavior just because it makes customers happy. Once-robust monopoly laws have been marginalized, Ms. Khan wrote, and consequently Amazon is amassing structural power that lets it exert increasing control over many parts of the economy.

Maybe I missed it, but I saw no mention in the article of the domination companies like Amazon exert on keeping wages down. That is a monopoly power that needs regulation to protect the little people when they are not acting as consumers.

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