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The Writings on the Stall

Sunday, 2005-01-09

interview with michael powell

I'd like to have heard the audio of this interaction. Michael Powell's wording was too grandiose to have been "called out" so easily (his admission in italics, my emphasis).

The Reluctant Planner
Michael Powell interviewed by Drew Clark, Nick Gillespie and Jesse Walker, Reason

Powell: I'm an antitrust lawyer. I completely accept that concentration at some measurable level becomes anti-competitive and harmful to the American consumer.

Reason: Can you give an example of that?

Powell: There's Standard Oil.

Reason: Most of the revisionist histories of Standard Oil show that by the time it had its maximum market penetration, it was actually charging less for oil.

Powell: You may know more about the specifics of Standard Oil than I. But...

Come on Mr. Powell, Standard Oil? Of all monopolies to choose from, you pick a trust broken up near the beginning of the last century? Can we not think of anything more recent, say AT&T?

AT&T aligns more closely with communications regulation than Standard Oil. But maybe you are just too far in the pocket of the telcos to mention the Bell monopoly? At least pick an example you're familiar with.


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