The Need for a Pandemic Merger Moratorium

Zephyr Teachout

Executive Summary

During a pandemic, any greater consolidation of corporations is a risk to health, jobs, and small businesses. Instead of charging forward with more mergers during the coronavirus-created economic crisis, we should impose a moratorium until the Federal Trade Commission can determine that small businesses, workers, and consumers are no longer under the financial stress wrought by the pandemic. A pandemic merger moratorium, such as the Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, would:

  • Protect small and medium-sized businesses from pandemic profiteering;
  • Protect jobs and workers; and
  • Protect our healthcare system.

Recent polling by Data for Progress shows wide, bipartisan support for a pandemic merger ban for big companies:

  • 57% of likely voters support this ban. Only 19% of likely voters oppose it, while 24% were not sure.
  • Democrats support a ban 4:1, Republicans support it 2:1, and Independents support it 4:1.
  • The polling also showed that a majority of Americans support (with a third strongly supporting) breaking up big telecommunications and cable companies.
  • A majority of both parties support breaking up big agriculture and big tech because they have too much power, with slightly more Republicans in favor of breaking up big tech.
The Need for a Pandemic Merger Moratorium
The Need for a Pandemic Merger Moratorium