A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliances shows that America’s monopoly problem is bigger than you might think. While last year’s Big Tech hearings and House antitrust report spotlighted monopoly abuses at Amazon, Google, and other tech giants, the report from ILSR makes clear that America’s monopoly problem has spread into many other sectors of the economy — including the electricity sector. The report is the latest in a series from ILSR focused on fighting monopoly power throughout several sectors of our economy, including Banking, Broadband, Food and Farming, Pharmacy, Waste and Recycling, and Small Business.
You’d struggle to find anyone who believes our current banking sector was the ideal one for producing and maintaining a strong and just economy. The 2008 crisis showed how unstable, and vital to the wider economy, the sector is. The fact is, credit is both necessary and central to the global economy. Economists like Lazzarato have come up with theories about how debt drives economic production and an ever-increasing economy and in an era where finance has come to dominate our economy, it is evident to everyone that banks are very powerful institutions and if they could be reformed could be the power behind substantial improvement in our economy. Democratisation of our banking sector, via co-operatives and credit unions, is something that merits serious thought.
Around 5% of all websites use the .org domain, with the most popular being Wikipedia. These websites represent around 6% of the top 1000 websites and 7% of the top 100 000 domains. The domain itself has been controlled by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which is part of the non-profit Internet Society. In 2019 a private equity firm, Ethos capital, approached ICANN with an offer of buying the .org registrar for $1.6 billion. As the deal seemed likely to pass, the opposition to the deal mobilised a massive campaign to stop it. ICANN received 3,252 comments, with only 6 in favour of the deal. Perhaps the most commonly cited criticism included the removal of the price cap. The price for .org domains had been capped at 9.93$/year since 2013, although registrants were allowed to freely sell them.