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Frontline Documentary on Amazon Features ILSR's Work

STACY MITCHELL  |   FEB. 12, 2019

Over the last year, producers at FRONTLINE have drawn on ILSR’s research and interviews with co-director Stacy Mitchell as they have created a new documentary, Amazon: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos, which will be released on February 18th, 2020.

According to FRONTLINE, “Jeff Bezos is not only one of the richest men in the world, he has built a business empire that is without precedent in the history of American capitalism. His power to shape everything from the future of work to the future of commerce to the future of technology is unrivaled.”

Stacy also spoke on a Television Critics Association panel in California to promote the film.

Watch the trailer here.  For more information, check out Frontline's press release.


Bringing Antitrust Law to the People

ZACH FREED  |   FEB. 12, 2019

On the podcast, Stacy Mitchell is joined by Harry First, law professor and co-director of New York University’s Competition, Innovation, and Information Law Program. They chat about how competition policy has strayed from its roots as a political movement for economic justice and become captured by technocratic lawyers and economists.

As Professor First explains, "Everyone uses Amazon, everyone uses Google…this is not something that’s esoteric or removed from peoples’ lives. This is, particularly for the students we see, an integral part of their lives. They’re concerned about [monopoly power]." LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE.


  • Stacy spoke at a symposium on antitrust attended by about 80 independent bookstores for the American Booksellers Association on Capitol Hill.    
  • She spoke on a panel at Yale Law School about how issues of monopoly and antitrust policy are playing out in the presidential race. The panel was hosted by the Thurman Arnold Project and the Law and Political Economy blog.
  • In a feature about the House’s investigation into Big Tech and the Congressman leading it, POLITICO described ILSR as “one of the most prominent critics of the tech industry in Washington.”
  • Stacy also talked to the Guardian about the information Amazon gathers on its customers. “It is hard for us to wrap our minds around what artificial intelligence enables Amazon to do with this data.”
  • CBC released a European documentary on Amazon featuring ILSR’s research. In The World According to Amazon, Stacy explains that “for every job that Amazon creates, two are lost in existing businesses.”
  • WABE featured our research while reporting on one Georgia county that is doubling down on its ban of dollar store chains.
  • Illinois Public Radio interviewed Stacy about the empty big-box stores in Decatur. She also talked to Spartanburg Herald Journal about rent spikes for local businesses in South Carolina.


Law scholar Sanjukta Paul joined Stacy Mitchell on the podcast for an eye-opening look at how, in recent years, our antitrust laws have often been used to weaken the power of workers and small businesses, while granting large corporations expansive rights to control economic activity. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE.



  • “I am a danger to the public working for CVS.”  Pushed to fill hundreds of prescriptions an hour, exhausted pharmacists tell the New York Times that the big chains are putting lives at risk
  • Meanwhile, CVS's PBM division, which manages pharmacy benefits for health insurers, paid CVS stores $11 to dispense a drug, but gave independent pharmacies only 24 cents, a Florida study found.

  • Not surprisingly, PBMs are driving closures of independent pharmacies, including one in Kentucky whose owner is waging a heroic battle against these corporate monopolists.

  • Leaders of several highly successful startups, including Sonos and PopSockets, told a Congressional committee that the monopoly power of Google and Amazon now threatens to crush their companies.

  • Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos threw a party at his new Washington, D.C., mansion that was attended by leading journalists and powerful officials from the Trump Administration.  

  • Such soirées may help Amazon keep its tax bill trivial. Last year, Amazon paid a federal tax rate of 1.2 percent — vastly lower than the typical rate independent retailers pay.

  • Vox looks at all the ways that Amazon's Ring doorbell cameras pose a Big Brother threat to freedom and privacy.

  • In the New Yorker, Jill Lepore writes about the last time democracy almost died, in the 1930s, and how we saved it.

  • One bright spot for democracy: America’s independent booksellers have seen their ranks swell by more than 35 percent since 2009.

  • One such bookstore is Harriet’s Bookshop, which opened in South Philly. Told she couldn’t succeed in the neighborhood because she’s Black, Jeannine A. Cook is now busily restocking her shelves.

  • In fact, Black-owned bookstores have fostered political and community resilience since the 1830s, according to an insightful history of Black bookstores.

From informing policymakers to shaping media coverage, ILSR's research is
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