Rebalance Now: launch of a new German anti-monopoly organisation

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January 11, 2024 Rebalance Now: launch of a new German anti-monopoly organisation

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We are thrilled to announce the birth of a new anti-monopoly NGO in Germany, Rebalance Now, formally registered in December.

We have played a role in its formation: Ulrich Müller, on the left in the picture, was our network co-ordinator for much of 2022 and 2023, and we have given some (very light) support towards its foundation. The other co-founders are, from left to right in the picture, Nelly Grotefendt and Tina Haupt; the fourth co-founder, Max Bank, is not pictured.

We’ve translated and synthesised this, from their website:

“Rebalance Now is a new NGO that opposes the monopoly power of large companies. We promote a change of course towards a more balanced and democratically organised economy, that offers us more freedom and development opportunities, distributes profits, costs and risks fairly around the world, and respects ecological limits.

To counteract the monopoly power of large companies, and the harms that flow from this power, we plan to:

  • Analyse concentrations of economic power in different sectors, and shed light on the damage to people, the environment and democracy.
  • Use antitrust law and other instruments to limit monopoly power and related abuses: contributing our expertise to proceedings in Germany, Europe and internationally.
  • Work on a vision for a diverse and balanced economy that combines decentralised markets, public infrastructures and alternative approaches, and which is focused on the common good.
  • Build a movement for a diverse economy. We encourage and enable people and organisations to participate in antitrust and economic policy.”

 

Change is coming in Germany

Germany is of course a tremendously important country when it comes to tackling excessive corporate power: in certain ways it has streaked ahead of the European Commission. For example, we recently noted:

“Germany’s competition policy and enforcement has gained serious gumption, with an announcement in July of sweeping reforms to their Competition Act (GWB,) which State Secretary Sven Giegold described as “the most fundamental since the legendary minister for economy Ludwig Erhard” – that is, in six decades. They will be able to impose remedies without having to undergo bureaucratic and difficult processes to prove abuse of a dominant position; they can more easily order the “unbundling” (breakup) of problem companies; they can more easily remove “illegitimate super profits,” and it will become a lot easier to stop dangerous mergers.”

So fresh thinking is breaking out, and policy is in flux. Which makes it an excellent time to launch Rebalance Now.