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tv   Sen. Amy Klobuchar D-MN Antitrust  CSPAN  December 15, 2021 9:17pm-10:18pm EST

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talks. good evening, everyone and thank you for being here tonight. i'm the founder of the books
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right here in miami florida and behalf of all of us presenting partners with this event, i welcome you to a virtual evening. i have the pleasure and honor of introducing two people i admire so very much. senator amy klobuchar with us tonight to discuss senator klobuchar's new book, antitrust takingus on monopoly power from the gilded age to the digital age. senator klobuchar is the senior senator from minnesota and the first from that state to be elected to the state senate. and as a candidate for president of the united states and graduated from yale university
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from the university of chicago law school. it shows how antitrust laws once saved the country from robber barons and how more than 100 years later in the era of big tech the unprecedented corporate consolidation can and must do it again and thankfully as the chair of the senate antitrust subcommittee she can do something about it. it's rooted in the story of her own family experience. as she writes in antitrust when people ask me as a senator from monopolies and antitrust policies, the answer is simple.
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as president and ceo of the foundation and former officer of the miami herald and the prize for excellence in journalism i knew alberto to have like this and that are a concern from the consolidation of so m much and s someone who is dedicated to this course for the monopolies it is a disconcerting as it is to the rest of us. for the miami book fair to be presenting these two very
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distinguished people for this very important discussion. this evening's book we ask questions by clicking that little future at the bottom of the screen you can order your copies of antitrust from books and books below by pressing the green button. and now without further ado i would like to welcome the guest to the virtual stage. i'm delighted to see you again. i first saw you years ago in the senate subcommittee when john kerry was the chair of the and was on the
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internet and what the government should do. questions that are very similar to today and you wrote a story about your father being a reporter at the minneapolis star tribune. this book which i actually have in the galley. how does a senator that is running for president have time to write this? your father would be proud of the storyteller that wrote this book. congratulations.
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>> thank you. thanks so much. it's great to be on. i am an admirer of yours and then with the foundation that's so important what drove me to write it is seeing my grandpa working back for monopolies basically but yes doing everything he could as the son of immigrants to make sure unlike what happened to him, my dad was entered a two-year community college and end upr finishing at the university of minnesota and interviewing everyone from mike to ginger rogers to ronald reagan.
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yes my grandfather had a job, but secondly my grandma was convinced that she wanted a different life and she wanted her family to kind of detach from the monopoly powers and i think that right now we are seeing a repeat of that gilded age. it used to be the robber barons and the sugar trust you name it especially when it comes to tech. the second reason i started writing it before. i was proud to enter and this got us through the spring and
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summer and i have a great husband that has a monopoly and wrote the footnotes. someone said how are there so many footnotes in this book because i wanted to keep our marriage strong. talking about another time in history with the use of antitrust will simply to say these nongovernment actors are too big and to ensure we will have the government intervene periodically.
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and they say no, never mind. we are focused on the shareholder and then comes the technology and now we come to the critical part of your book. we are so short on time i wonder -- talk about monopoly. we have to make it real for the lives of the people listening now, and you know better than
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anybody. if you are someone that is sick and tired of the monopoly issues and says why are airfares so expensive from the city, to be a farmer, like what is going on and why is this happening. a lot of people in florida know what i'm talking about here. companies that own 90% of it and in the beginning of the book if you are someone that a few years back had a baby, suddenly one year i got a call from a pharmacist and this is where i found this out.
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then i went from 85 to $1,600 the treatment. that's why i wrote this book. just to make the point this is something that is a real political issue and if you don't know a lot about it you need to learn about it because we need to get bills passed in congress and putt pressure on. eanytime i try it's like a game lacrimal. some companies pressure someone else to do something. the tech companies house and
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entire in australia. i think it's kind of> interesting. what are the dynamics of the liberal democrats and three conservative republicans. he cared about newspapers and making sure that we don't have them all go away to be controlled by i don't know who was providing the news so we got together and worked on this bill and says the news organization should be able to talk to each other for great content. i wish we didn't have to do thai
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but it's the only way right now when we don't have laws that break up the tech companies. 77% would agree the social media have too much. they see the government should intervene and some say that it should be focused on privacy and some say newspapers, others say antitrust, reliability protections and you will be
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fine. why is antitrust the right way to go? to stop the misinformation and things like that. we don't because according to the e-mails discovered in the house hearing he said i'd rather buy van compete they could become disruptive to us. that is the definition of the
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monopoly. the antitrust enforcement and regulation you could allow capitalism to develop the product's without squelching new competitors and have rules in place on things like privacy. you don't need to tell us but if you want to you can about the conversations. we are trying touc work this through. you have no idea the volume that comes in, the dollars that we invest in artificial intelligence to try to control this d and the worst that could happen is a government that is five years behind the times or five months behind the times trying to tell us how to do our
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business. >> they've been saying trust us for a long time. i'm not trying to tell them how. i'm just putting safeguards in place to ensure competitive behavior which we have done through the great advantage. we got long-distance rates, the chair man actually said when it was done we are a stronger company because we are forced to competee and you got an incredible cell phone industry out ofe it. that's when they started they were the size of the briefcase in the movie wall street. i just think that it's going to crowd out the development and innovation that we need and that we neede to ensure that this happens. one great example of this that people don't understand until we
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did this hearing which was very bipartisan how google and apple and a number of companies like disqualify they have to pay 30% of what comes in and asked to go to the 30%. they are not allowed to say you can get a better deal on the website. those are things they can say. you feel like putting some rules in place and it may not -- >> but the technology that allows for the personalization and the way that we've never seen in the human industry would suggest a greater and greater
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pressure towards one former social media with another knowing your preferences and big size and consolidation. the technology is so strong and goes in that direction, what is antitrust policy going to do? >> i think it's doing its job to allow them to develop because we know from history that monopolies eventually first charge to get people in and then eventually prices go up but more than that, innovation goes down so what i believe we need to do is to simply unleash the part of
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antitrust law. give more money to the agency to enforce them. that's what we have able to update the following. we are a shadow of our former selves. you can't expect the balance without having the agency put together to take on these big companies. looking at some of these deals that were made that created these empires what i'm saying is really not that radical when you look at the past where democrats and republicans all believed in capitalism but they literally said invisible hand but watch out for the standing army of monopolies because they don't have too much political proud you can see by the policies.
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showing all the consolidation he said if this was enough. to say okay sometimes we are going to put conditions in place. sometimes we are going to start collecting information. we've been thwarted every step of the way by some of the justices and judges and every time in american history we stood up for capitalism and allowed a small businesses to flourish by enforcing the antitrust law. adam smith was on facebook and
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now that i know i will have to frienden him or something. let's talk a little about the judiciary that says we are doing nothing but interpreting the law. are they not? >> they greatly have changed the way they've been interpreted the last few decades. if you go back in time they were used to stop monopolies, break up standard oil and pause some of what was going on in the companies in the market. the way they've interpreted has made it really difficult. at one time it was zero for winning antitrust cases in front of the supreme court. that creates a dampening effect because as you asked about, they
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didn't want to have a lot of government intervention in the economy. now they found the opposite affect decrying the monopolies we have in the tech area. that wouldn't have happened if the justices and others followingus the precedent hadn't stepped in and i think this is the best example of a u.s. senator, the entire ftc all over the country saying this is outrageous and we are going to let this go. being advised by counsel and when considering the proposal we could consider the interests of
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the communities that as well as the shareholder and the interpreter of i corporate law u only consider the shareholder. who is on the other side? >> justice breyer when it comes to antitrust, here's another one, meredith garlin use to teach antitrust and understands it when he was chosen and announced, he had the audacity to bring up on the stage.
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the biden administration but out-of-the-box thinkers like tim wu in the white house they nominated for the ftc. all these people have experiences that i think are very important. ii don't think we are going to change the precedent soon enough to deal with the monopoly tech company. i think we need to build onto that but we also need to change the law, which we have done many times. i'm talking about who has the burden to show whether or not it will hurt competition. i'm talking about looking at the standard for how much harm before the court starts looking at it. those are things we've changed over time. our laws have to be as sophisticated as the people messing around with us. i'm so afraid every time we try
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to do t this, someone under some theory comes out of the woodwork that says we can't do this. it's what adam smith warned about, thatam the monopolies wod have so much power in congress. there is a very famous old cartoon of the senate debating the huge fact looking down basically telling them what to do. kthe understanding i know it's not in easy topic. >> that is a terrific near ending t with some q-and-a that you mentioned.
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it's a history with loss of anecdotes of how antitrust was and the last part of the book. increasingly smart aggressive people that involves both a president making that decision as well as congress getting them the funding. if you're serious you better do that for standard senator
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grassley gets that. second, i would change the standards that we have. >> this is key looking back -- >> i think you froze for just a little bit there. >> can you hear me now? >> part two is looking at the merger going forward and putting strict standards in place and then part three is looking back as the government did with the at&t monopoly over the equipment and phone service across the country. looking back at what happened in athe areas where the presidents of both parties allowed the mergers to occur and now including with pharma we are in a situation you can't just fix
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going forward. you have to put some guardrails on. >> that is something that came just in the trump administration order from bush, obama and trump? >> it's over a series of years although president trump while heen had some good people workig in those areas, the commissioner is the one that took on the case on facebook which was very significant across the country and with republicans. i didn't agree with everything he did like the marijuana mergers, but he did take on a case against google. i wrote that about the trump administration and found it lost
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at that moment whether it's starting to be momentum to take on monopolies going back in time, yes people have worked with president obama including we should have done more, these mergers were coming and we wshould have done more. so youre spend years in under funded agencies and then some good work but i tried not to make this a focal point but there's a lot of length to go around what happened. i want to look forward and that means fixing what we've messed up in the past. >> what about the european union and the way that they are regulating the companies. is there a model that we can
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copy? despite the book antitrust i would rather call this competition policy. this is going on with a lot of the institutions and there are some different laws. have they taken this on in a thoughtful way when google and facebook threaten to leave the entire nation of australia, europe stoodod out and the budgt leaders stood out. how does it have to do with the fact that microsoft broke?
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-- you've got to realize google was at 90% so that would have been disruptive. across the world they just thought they could mess around. in australia of course rupert murdoch was pushing it and they had the resources to do it. they get a coalition of other news organizations to be able to take this on. as you mentioned, i am the daughter ofbe a journalist who spent an incredible career and is still alive at age 93.
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>> i didn't realize that. in the last year he graduated from hospice. i've growne to admire not only his work with all journalists. maybe not at the big newspapers, maybe not at "the new york times" and "washington post" but if you start using it in cities like miami or minneapolis and you are not able to have the coverage which we do now with the star tribune and a number of other smaller papers they are just hanging in there. the local journalists have a unique ability to be able to cover some of it.
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as you know, an online paper, one of the first in the country that got some incredible journalists. my dad, his last job for maybe $100 a column. they usually are not allowed to collaborate on pricing to be
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able to negotiate as one. >> you can't keep doing it but a small newspaper in waynesboro minnesota even when f you go to the markets in florida they are not going to on their own be able to take on 1 trillion or 2 trillion other companies in the negotiations so right now when we have these monopolies it is the only way we are going to guarantee the right payment for the news content. >> i have two small questions before we go to the questions for the audience. one is trusted institutions. they say if you start breaking this up, how do we compete with a quarter of the population
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controlled from the central authority? >> it made the country's competitors stronger so i don't buy that we want to be like china and say we just have one company and together we can have two big monopolies. yes we understand that they have to charge for various things that they do but not 30% to a competitor, and not when you can't explain why uber doesn't have to pay in a spot of i does when they are in the market. none of this makes sense, or match.com so i think that you can develop the product in a better way. and it isn't the way things are moving. a lot of w it has to do with
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working with our allies to put standards in place with the international antitrust enforcement, so i understand that thread of china but i don't think the answer is to become china. >> so in other words, you were trying to regulate for the purpose of ensuring competition as opposed to regulating. >> and in a state like florida we have to know that republicans in the past from teddy roosevelt, sherman of the sherman act was a republican senator from ohio. this has always been bipartisan and that's why i'm glad those
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against facebook and google started during the trump administration. >> let me ask a final question before the audience that has to do with trusted institutions. one said with 77% of americans saying they have too much power and yet half of americans think the government should step in to regulate, i view that as another piece of evidence of the continuing erosion of trust and institutions that we have in the country. i see that lack of trust when i
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see what we have in many places throughout the country that should be so lucky as to have minneapolis and st. paul not even counting with miami. a lot of places that isn't any longer available. what do you see as the way back to the trusted institutions. it is at the core of the ineffective democracy but the
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lack of trust except maybe for the army at the library. to organizations and others including federal government. >> the truth matters and i think we saw that coming out of the insurrection. i was in the middle of it and i knew what happened that day. a lot of people believed things they read on the internet and was cited by the then president of the united states. but in the end i do get solace in the local news. so, you want to have and people may say they don't but if you ask them if they trust their local anchor that goes on and tells them if there is a fire or
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tornado, that there's been a murder and things like that or the government is doing a good thing or bad thing i think they do trust their local news and building that local news and making sure that it's happening and we can pay for content to doing anything we can that's happened over timee from the newsprint that we've had to get involved in, i think it is critical because if we don't have a shared understanding of what's happening in this country, we get what happened on january 6th at the capitol. other things, the fact that at thatinauguration happened two ws later. the last three walking down the mahogany box and through the shattered glass to make sure we did our job. the fact that george bush was there on that inaugural stage withob dan quayle sitting next o barack obama and bill clinton
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and the leaders of congress on all sides, those are moments we cherish in the democracy and i don't think we should forget that despite all of the untruths going out there. what bothered me as a member of the senate is when you want to fixat things ahead of time we kp a lot oftopped and times it's the hispanic owned businesses in miami having the ability to start up but then it's hard to compete in the monopoly environment whether it's people that want a better deal on their online travel how come there are these monopolies, why don't you do something about it. change happens when people look at it and ask questions otherwise we would give up on our democracy and i am not ready
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to do that. >> asking questions of the electorate, in the first amendment everybody always talks about freedom of religion and freedom of press and speech and assembly but there's also that grassroots that's such an amazing privilege. there he is. >> welcome back. >> you are muted. [laughter] or maybe someone mutes them. i can't say.
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>> i see the questions. >> give me one second. how can we get involved? >> one thing, you can get involved in some of the groups on the websites into places like open markets that put the information on this all the time. i listed them in the book. second, ask your elected official what are you doing on antitrust. how come you haven't passed the klobuchar grassley bill that has bipartisan support to help fund the agency. how come you are not doing something about this exclusionary conduct and monopoly? talk isn't enough. then making sure you buy localll and to support your local small
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businesses. those are just a few of the ideas. .. with me, as a small business person, the greatly.
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that was in 1972. where do we go off the rails? noted all of a sudden we no longer think about how to preserve their right of small business to be able to compete with got gigantic monopolies which put small businesses out of business. >> had a lot to do lobby by big interest so congress didn't do anything and second, court somehow lose the original intent. of the sherman act. you look back through history, when you go way back, yet it's about the just independent liberty but also because they didn't want to buy the tea company, the east india tea
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company owned by the british so you go through the history and you see people standing up on the side of small business. the movement pittsburgh from so much of this is but also small businesses and business owners didn't like people controlling their means of getting goods from the market. so that's what wetr need to reattach again if it's positive the number of publicans are not just interested way and willing to talk about not just tech but other monopolies and see it as a business issue and i was proud
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mark warner got on my big bill when it w comes to monopolies because he gets it and was very successful. i worked for 14 years in the private i sector, i truly belied in capitalism and without this kind of check, is just capitalism and that's where we are headed right now if we don't put a check and balance on it. >> the question i addressed in that hearing was congress regulating content. regulating the process for a playing field which is what you are talking about reasonable. those a great question from someone named natalie, a millennial growing up with this, who seemed what's up, they have
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access to so much with such with antitrust laws, i'd want to ask, working for at least 12 years trying to make it so we each own and control our personal data, is that a possibility in your mind we can get a horse out of the barn on the personal data or can antitrust be a way to have us regain control of personal data? >> yes but i believe the privacy rules of the road, their profit centers when it comes to this, he sent an e-mail and do something and mention a ceiling fan and you do a google search and see ads for ceiling fans. i've heard hilarious stories on
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this , they end up in this crazy world, getting ads. i think you've got to put an end on the data going back to this. you should be up to opt out if you want and it's got to be in plain language or you need to opt in to use that. the goals right now, we've talked about a bipartisan bill, you have to be notified about privacy breaches so you know what happened. what's interesting rightt now is the companies, not just tech r companies lobby against the federal privacy laws. then the state started acting aggressively pretty soon, it's
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better to do it that way but it's got to be strong enough to mean something so i think the answer about data center and we are going to get repetitive, one-stop or instagram, you want but. what the government can do is put safeguards in place. consumers to make that legal. >> so someone is asking about getting to a place if we get to a time if there's only one modality when it comes to the news.
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if you are limited to restrictions in the >> we've seen monopolization, we've got cable issues with monopolization and issues of ownership the trump administration heading in the direction that i thought was wrong on that front. front thera section in the book about it. and then in terms of ownership. with boards of directors and airlines and in the professor of harvard who looked at all this. with the argument but then
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they have that competitor. it's not just end-user organizations. >> let me follow up on that. and the definition. >> and the markets have changed and how you define them what the market is. remember you are dealing with competing with these companies and many other areas.
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and with the media content producers. and that cries out for that sentiment in the book tour. >> i was struck how your husband propose to you. >> and then nonfiction i'll at the bookstore. >> i knew the owner, alan. >> and then nonfiction i'll. and was a huge fan of lincoln. and then calling for venues for our wedding and it is the weekend in between so when you call they say are you valentine's day? [laughter] >> .
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>> my niece is getting married in vermont the home of lincoln's oldest son in vermont. and they have a place there. the income disparity and monopoly. >> i would tie that into one of the questions i see here from susan on campaign financing. there is a section in the book called we the people and to talk about small businesses and when you have a monopoly and they have the skills in that area you cannot part
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again for good wages when there's only one good company. and then to have conspired to those set wages but there have been some major ones so they were successful. >> so the key here is not to look at this to the lens of the economic competition but worker competition and then to come up as the counterweight. but all of that with all of that the union movement and as
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i said before, monopolies are great having control over judges. and those pieces are outrageous. in the same thing sadly there is a lot of powers so that's why i recommended and then to do something about campaign finance so state and will be chairing a hearing on and on may 112 markup the bill. >> i want to pick up something alberto said. in the book for me why is an amazing history.
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and i learned so much year. and you can tell your husband believe it or not there are 100 pages of footnotes be make you did not read all of them. >> i read a lot of them. he went to the evelyn word system of reading. [laughter] >> that the senators part is 350 pages and the rest are footnotes. but as alberto says it is so lively and so well-written. the way you bring the personal into it at the beginning talking about what happened with that unfortunate situation in minneapolis and minnesota i cannot thank you
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enough for writing this and being here with us and for the american people. thank you very much you are remarkable as always. >> i thank you did great. >> but i'm still hearing echoes. >>
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