“The AMPTP is like if General Motors, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, Toyota,
Honda and Nissan all got together, decided the terms they would offer
employees, and then negotiated as a single body against one isolated
division of U.S. auto workers at a time. Divide and conquer. Take it or
It’s not that it would be massively illegal. It’s that it would be
unconscionable. No one in the aghast free world would stand for it.
Even Luddites who wished it wasn’t illegal understand why it’s
Or imagine if all the tobacco companies got together. What if they
hid research about nicotine, and then…oh, wait, they did. And they
all got hauled before Congress.
Competitors are not allowed to negotiate together, to even confer
together. It’s called collusion. When baseball owners merely created an
“information bank” for offers being made to free agent players, they
were fined $280 million. Two competitors cannot talk with one another
if there’s just a hint of agreement. Imagine ALL competitors in an
industry getting together to set ALL wages and ALL labor conditions.
It doesn’t happen. Anywhere. Not “anywhere in the U.S.” Anywhere in the free world.