by Ethan Yang
The American Institute for Economic Research
On July 9th, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order kicking off a vast regulatory overhaul effort to combat what the administration deems to be an unprecedented level of industrial consolidation. In other words, they believe too few corporations have too much market power and more competition needs to be introduced to correct that imbalance. In their fact sheet, which provides a summary of the executive order, they cite a paper claiming that in over 75% of the American economy, large businesses control more than they did 20 years ago. AIER Research Fellow Pete Earle has written an analysis that even supports this thesis, as he notes that the recent lockdown policies have led to more consolidation and market power for large companies.
There is no doubt that the American economy could become more competitive and certain policy changes could accomplish that. Of course, much like anything, but especially when it comes to antitrust, the devil is in the details. Biden’s new executive order is a mixed bag. Much of it seems to signal the emergence of an even more overbearing regulatory state. However, there are many sections of the text that suggest that there could be potential for positive change.