By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sen. Amy Klobuchar has written a new book about what she believes is one of the biggest threats facing the country — the threat of Monopoly power.

Klobuchar’s book “Antitrust” is a call for attention and action about the consequences of creeping concentrations of wealth, power and control in a smaller number of corporations.

Klobuchar is the first to admit that, even for attorneys, the topic of antitrust law and enforcement can be dull and byzantine. But in her book “Antitrust” she argues the failure to pay attention and reform antitrust laws is costing Americans not just in their pocketbooks, but in widespread privacy violations, the loss of small businesses and a solidifying of income and socioeconomic disparities, especially among people of color.

Klobuchar’s book starts with the history of antitrust actions from the railroad barons in the late 19th century to the growing power of Big Tech today. One example: Facebook reach, power and market share has become far greater since its 2012 and 2014 purchases of rivals Instagram and WhatsApp.

Klobuchar was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“There is no reason that you can’t look backwards just like we did with AT&T where we said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe those mergers at the time seem small but when you add it all up it’s a big problem,'” she said.

Klobuchar says consumers need to be aware that entire industries are far more concentrated than you might think. Take the travel booking industry. Orbitz is not just Orbitz. It owns Trivago and Travelocity, while Priceline owns Booking.com and Kayak.

The senator is urging consumers to be aware of these consolidations and to urge lawmakers to act before large companies merge.

You can watch “WCCO Sunday Morning” with Esme Murphy and Mike Augustyniak every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Esme Murphy