The Mugging of Comcast

The Washington Post reports, “Federal regulators on Tuesday blessed Comcast’s $30 billion acquisition of NBC Universal, imposing a slew of conditions on everything from competition with rivals to the price of Internet service for poor families out of concern that the firm’s vast sweep could harm consumers.”

In other words, Comcast must pay protection money to the welfare statists and its own competition for the privilege of conducting business.

The antitrust laws allowing federal bureaucrats to obstruct and control mergers are unjust and should be abolished. Instead we should demand the restoration of free markets, in which businesses are free to offer services to willing consumers at mutually agreeable prices. Business owners should be able to run their enterprises as they see fit, consistent with the property rights of others, which entails the right to expand and merge as they deem best. In a free market, businesses that meet the needs of their customers succeed; the rest properly fail. If a consumer does not like the services or practices of a business, he holds the ultimate trump card: he may withdraw his business and spend his money elsewhere.

The government’s only legitimate role in a free market is to uphold property rights and contracts and root out force and fraud. And yet, rather than serve to stop criminals, in this case the federal government itself is acting as the criminal entity, forcibly limiting property rights and voluntary associations. In the name of justice, such practices must be stopped.

For additional reading about the injustices of antitrust laws, please see the Liberty In the Books pages about Alex Epstein, Eric Daniels, and Dominick Armentano.