Summary of Glen Weyl on Antitrust, Capitalism, and Radical Reform

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Glen Weyl on Antitrust, Capitalism, and Radical Reform summary

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US antitrust laws have been a staple of corporate governance since the landmark Sherman Act of 1890. But the 21st century looks far different from the days of the government-mandated break-ups of US Steel and AT&T. Today, technology behemoths like Google, Facebook and Amazon are redefining business models and monopolies. In this fascinating and informative Q&A, EconTalk’s Russ Roberts and Microsoft’s E. Glen Weyl take a deep dive into the nuances of antitrust, capitalism and their impacts on democracy. Anyone concerned about rising monopoly power will find this a valuable discussion.

About the Speakers

Russ Roberts is the host of EconTalk, a weekly economics podcast. E. Glen Weyl is a political economist and social technologist in Microsoft’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

Summary

Legislators must develop a new antitrust regime to address the modern economy.

US antitrust law adheres to the principle of protecting the consumer from monopolies that control prices. Current policy contends that unfettered “market power” erodes product and service quality, allows for price increases and curtails innovation. While this legal model of mitigating consumer harm provided relief in the past, the 21st-century economy is vastly different.

Giant social media, e-commerce and digital technology companies like Google and Facebook do not charge users for core applications like internet searches or information postings, so the pricing power argument is ...


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