Sorry, Government Antitrust ‘Enforcers’ Are Gaslighting You

Economic Concentration

After a year of big talk about busting up Big Tech, it turns out these conflicted bureaucrats are going to bat for the monopolists.

US Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice Makan Delrahim (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP/Getty Images)

December 30, 2019

Jonathan Tepper

Product brand names can become verbs: to Google something is to search on the internet, to FedEx something is to send it quickly. While products often become verbs, it is rare for a film to become a verb. The term “to gaslight” became a verb after George Kukor’s 1944 film Gaslight, in which a husband drives his wife mad and makes her question reality by dimming the gaslight in their house. 

According to Wikipedia, gaslighting involves, “Using denial, misdirection, contradiction… Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorientating the victim.”

Today, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice are involved in the gaslighting of the American public when it comes to antitrust and the fight against monopolies. 

On the one hand, regulators give speeches proclaiming their zeal in promoting competition, yet they have been aiding monopolists, undermining workers and sabotaging any efforts at reform. 

It should be little surprise that this is the case. The revolving door in Washington means that almost all the top jobs in Washington at the FTC and DOJ are filled with people who have previously represented tech industry monopolists and will return to representing them after their stints in government. 

Joe Simons, the Chairman of the FTC, has long represented monopolies and has already taken a few trips through the revolving door. He has previously represented Microsoft and Mastercard. MORE