We Get the Monopolies We Deserve

How consumers can help stop anti-competitive corporate behavior (without government intervention)

Christian Cantrell
8 min readJan 3, 2020

Now that tech, from a regulatory perspective, is the new oil, railroads, and telecommunications, it’s time to talk antitrust. But before we jump right into breaking companies up and unwinding anticompetitive mergers, it’s important to examine the role consumers play in encouraging — and more importantly preventing — monopolistic behavior.

First line of defense

Most consumers believe that it is the government’s job to protect us from abusive monopolies and harmful anti-competitive corporate behavior. And they’re right — to an extent. Practical free-market advocates agree that capitalism should usually be allowed to function unencumbered with the government acting as a deus ex machina only when absolutely necessary.

That means we, as consumers, are the free market’s first line of defense. And given that our representatives often fail to grasp gross market imbalances until they have caused extensive harm, and that the regulatory process is easily undermined by lobbyists and special interests, we are also its most vital defense.

Money, redefined

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Christian Cantrell

Creative writer and coder. Formerly Director of Design Prototyping at Adobe.