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.