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The Labor Market Doesn’t Need Antitrust Protection

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The Labor Market Doesn’t Need Antitrust Protection

Bloomberg Opinion November 15, 2021
EconomicsOther

The DOJ is suing to stop Simon & Schuster’s merger deal, but industry consolidation can actually be a good thing for workers (and authors).

A national labor shortage is an odd time to argue that some workers don’t have enough job options. But that’s what the U.S. Department of Justice is doing — specifically, they’re worried about the prospects of aspiring authors. Simon & Schuster  and Penguin Random House (full disclosure: Penguin published my last book) are hoping to merge, but antitrust officials are suing to block the deal. The DOJ argues the merger would further concentrate the publishing industry and the result would be smaller advances for authors and less diverse books.

This is the latest twist in modern antitrust enforcement, which is no longer just concerned about consumers paying too much. The latest suit argues workers would have less power in a more concentrated market and that does them harm. It’s true there is more market consolidation, but it’s not clear this hurts workers (or authors). Modern antitrust often feels like a solution in search of a problem. This case is the latest example.

Continue reading the entire piece here at Bloomberg Opinion

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Allison Schrager is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal.

Photo by clu/iStock

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