1/ Listening to @POTUS' speech on supply chains? The shipping business is complex. But the crisis that’s rattled the supply chain for consumers and businesses alike, and left store shelves empty during a global pandemic? That’s simple.

One word, four syllables, starts with ‘M.’
2/ Shipping is among the most concentrated industries in the world. Just 4 monopoly shippers control 60 percent of all cargo capacity. Just 8 control 80 percent.

These 8 corporations operate in three “alliances” -- legalized cartels designed to avoid competition.
3/ If you buy something that gets put on a boat to get to you, or rely on imports or exports to run your business, you are at the mercy of these monopolies -- and they’re merciless.

The cargo cartels have hiked prices roughly 600 percent since the pandemic began.
4/ This means the shipping cartels are booking insane, unprecedented profits even as they do a worse and worse job of moving stuff from one place to another on time. These monopolists are reporting profits four, five, nine, TWENTY times their recent-year performance.
5/ The three shipping “alliances” that control global trade have also used aggressive merger & acquisition strategies to gain control of much of the rest of the logistics business. They own dozens of terminal operators, shipping container makers, and on-shore delivery networks.
6/ The shipping monopolies are in effect both buyer and seller on many of the transactions that determine what stuff costs and when it arrives. They abuse this “vertical integration” to maximize their own profits without regard for quality of service.
7/ Now we've all felt the pinch, except the ringleaders of these massive cartels. For them, it’s raining money -- money that's supposed to be in our pockets, not theirs.

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More from @sarahmillerdc

9 Dec 20
Today is an enormous win for the rule of law, fair and open markets, and American democracy.

@NewYorkStateAG, along with 47 state and territorial AGs and (finally!) the @FTC, has filed an open-and-shut case to #BreakUpFacebook and restore fair competition in digital markets.
2/ This comes on the heels of @RepCicilline’s historic investigation into Facebook and other platforms’ monopoly power.

Amazingly, breaking up (and regulating!) Facebook to protect democracy and commerce from its broad range of harms was seen as fringe back in 2018.
3/ That’s why we launched @FreedomFromFB — to mainstream the notion that maintaining the status quo, in which one enormous monopoly controlled online communications to serve its own profit motives, was actually the extreme position.
Read 22 tweets
11 Apr 20
Democracy is dying one newsroom at a time.

Facebook and Google’s advertising monopolies and business models are the biggest reason why.

We need to galvanize a bigger, broader movement to save journalism, folding this fight other efforts to protect democracy from autocracy. 1/
That involves understanding how journalism is financed, and how that financing is shaped by policy.

Many of us think we know what happened — journalism is no match for the innovative Internet!

Only charity can save it now.

But that’s what FB and Google want you to believe. 2/
Today, with my @econliberties colleagues @matthewstoller and @ZephyrTeachout, I published a short paper that tells the story of the slow-motion collapse of journalism.

We tell it through the choices policymakers made as FB and Google monopolized advertising markets. 3/
Read 6 tweets
25 Mar 20
1/ The Senate bill is STILL not public but we do know one thing:

This reckless, rushed deal is going to make corporate concentration worse – and that hurts ALL of us.
2/ Concerned about small businesses right now?

Corporate concentration is KILLING them. New biz creation is at a 40-year low. And the # of store closings reached a record in 2017 and AGAIN in 2019.

We have a NEGATIVE start-up rate.
3/ Care about inequality? Concentration is making it worse.

Workers are sharing in fewer profits today than they were 30 yrs ago even though corporations are making $14k MORE in profit per worker.
Read 13 tweets

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