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Hill Briefing: Breaking the Power of Big Tech 

ZACH FREED  |  SEP. 2, 2020

ILSR organized and participated in a briefing, cosponsored by more than 40 local and national economic and racial justice, small business, and antimonopoly groups, making the case for Congress to break up and regulate Amazon and the other tech giants. This powerful event featured opening remarks by Congressman David Cicilline, who is leading the House’s antitrust investigation of Big Tech, followed by several notable speakers, including ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell, and a lively Q&A. It garnered an overwhelming response from policymakers and their staff, advocates, and journalists. Cicilline’s committee is expected to release its report and policy recommendations in the coming weeks. Watch the briefing here. 


Now is the Moment to Advocate for Small Business: A Kauffman Conversation


Stacy Mitchell joined an online discussion with Jason Wiens, policy director for the Kauffman Foundation, and Brandy Bynum Dawson, director of Advocacy for the NC Rural Center. The conversation focused on several topics, including the policies needed to encourage rural entrepreneurship, the need for government to put more emphasis on helping small businesses rather than big businesses, the impact of the pandemic on small business, and the barriers faced by entrepreneurs of color. 

The video is organized into 6-short segments by topic. Watch them here.


Zephyr Teachout, author of the new book Break 'Em Up, shares her insights on building an antimonopoly movement, what she finds encouraging and discouraging in our current moment, and how she approaches antimonopoly work as a democracy activist.
Listen to Zephyr Teachout on building an antimonopoly movement



  • Yesterday, Senior Researcher Kennedy Smith joined elected officials from across South Carolina to discuss ILSR’s First-Next-Later report on a webinar organized by Lowcountry Local First. The Portland Press Herald said “every policymaker should familiarize themselves with [the report’s] 26 recommendations.
  • Drawing on ILSR’s research on dollar stores, the popular Cheddar video news network produced a video segment on how dollar stores conquered America and how they’re perpetuating poverty.
  • On the Who Is? podcast, Stacy explained how Jeff Bezos built Amazon into an empire by exploiting tax loopholes and other policy advantages, and how he’s increasingly infiltrating elite circles in Washington, D.C. 
  • Stacy joined Nwamaka Agbo for a conversation hosted by the Schumacher Center for New Economics.
  • After years of living in fear, more companies and small businesses are beginning to speak out about the monopoly power of the tech giants,” Stacy told Vox.
  • Business Insider interviewed ILSR legal fellow Shaoul Sussman about how Amazon is perpetuating USPS’s troubles, with small businesses caught in the middle. Stacy also spoke with CNN about how the USPS crisis will devastate small businesses.
  • Bloomberg cited our Amazon Monopoly Tollbooth report. “Amazon keeps an average of 30 percent of each sale made by independent sellers on its site, up from 19 percent five years ago.


For The Atlantic, Stacy writes that “At a hearing of the House’s antitrust subcommittee recently, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos seemed rattled to discover that his appearance was not a public-relations exercise but a deposition.” She explores the extraordinary achievements of last month’s Big Tech hearing, the incriminating admissions made by Bezos, and where the investigation could lead. Read more here.


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