How Antimonopoly Was Revitalized, Part 2: Barack Obama and The End of the End of History

In this second installment of his three-part series on antitrust’s recent resurrection, Matt Stoller discusses the legacy of Obama’s presidency. The real policy for which Obama will be known is not Obamacare or Dodd-Frank, but bailing out the banks after the 2008 financial crisis and helping Americans and the rest of the world understand that liberal democratic rhetoric was really an ornamental cover for a system of concentrated financial and political power.  

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Towards the Giant Three: The Rise and Rise of the Big Three Index Funds

The Big Three index fund managers—BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street Global Advisors—hold a significant proportion of the stock of US public companies, and they continue to grow steadily. There is a real prospect that index funds will continue to grow, and that voting in most significant public companies will come to be dominated by the future “Giant Three,” write Lucian Bebchuk and Scott Hirst.  

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The Effects of Concentration in the Asset Management Industry on Stock Prices

The asset management industry has become increasingly concentrated in recent decades. Regulators are concerned about the systemic risks this may pose. Using data from the US, this column suggests that the increased concentration has led to more volatile prices of stocks held by large institutional investors. This poses challenges for regulators trying to weigh price efficiency and economies of scale.  

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Designating Tech Platforms as “Information Fiduciaries” Would Do Little to Address the Source of Their Power

The notion that Facebook, Google, and Twitter should be assigned fiduciary duties toward their end users has gained broad support in recent years. However, this proposed framework invites policy misfires since it fails to grapple with the structural dimensions of tech platforms’ power.  

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Did Facebook and Google “Blackmail” EU Experts to Avoid Discussing Their Market Power?

A new report by the journalist network Investigate Europe claims representatives of Facebook and Google pressured members of an EU working group on fake news to drop proposals that would have called for an examination of the role played by tech platforms’ business models and market power in the spread of disinformation online.  

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