cover image Monopolies Suck: 7 Ways Big Corporations Rule Your Life and How to Take Back Control

Monopolies Suck: 7 Ways Big Corporations Rule Your Life and How to Take Back Control

Sally Hubbard. Simon & Schuster, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-982149-70-3

Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute, debuts with a thorough look at how corporate monopolies negatively impact the average American’s finances, health, consumer options, and overall well-being. She sketches the history and process of antitrust law enforcement, then delves into the impact of modern-day monopolies on airfare costs, internet access, and food supplies. Streaming services such as YouTube and Spotify make a fortune in revenue yet pay musicians a pittance, according to Hubbard, while Amazon prohibits marketplace sellers from listing items that compete with its own products. These and other corporate leviathans also pay little to nothing in income taxes, Hubbard notes, leaving taxpayers to make up the shortfall, even as worker pay has only increased 9% since the 1970s (compared to a 940% bump for CEOs). Hubbard also details how anticompetitive practices in the health-care industry contributed to a ventilator shortage during the Covid-19 pandemic. Her suggestions for fighting monopoly power range from using the DuckDuckGo search engine instead of Google to proposing a law banning online platforms from competing against businesses that depend on them. Hubbard’s cogent, accessible analysis makes a persuasive case that unchecked monopolies have rigged the system against ordinary Americans. Policymakers and voters will want to take note. Agent: Mollie Glick, CAA (Oct.)