Programming Note: Darts and Letters is off and retooling to relaunch in a new format early 2024.

EP39: Three Corporations in a Trenchcoat (ft. Matt Stoller & Dwayne Winseck)

If you eat, use a cell phone, connect to the internet, open a bank account, down a pint, or pick up a prescription in Canada, you’re probably experiencing the country’s familiar brand of oligopoly and monopoly. It’s arguably worse than the US. We’re basically three corporations in a trenchcoat. This arrangement means we unfortunately have to follow the moves of our corporate overlords–because really, these folks run the joint. Recently, the Succession-style drama surrounding the Rogers family, owners of one of the country’s major telecom companies, has at least provided us all some entertainment. This week on Darts and Letters, we look at monopoly and anti-monopoly, how corporate concentration affects Canada’s communications system, the global supply chain, and politics on both sides of the border.
  • First (@7:23), Canada does capitalism old school–neo-feudal style, led by dynastic families. Dwayne Winseck is Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University and the director of the Canadian Media Concentration Project. He takes us through the Rogers family kerfuffle, the autocracy of our corporate governance structures, the researchers/hired guns who fill our public policy space with nonsense, and the absurdity of oligarchical capitalism dominating our gutless politics.
  • Then (@33:02) what do broken McDonald’s ice cream machines tell us about monopoly? A lot, in fact. Matt Stoller is the author of the Substack Big and the book Goliath: The 100Year War Between Monopoly, Power, and Democracy. Stoller also explains how monopolies exacerbate global supply chain crises, discusses Biden’s legislative agenda, and tells us about the history of monopoly-friendly intellectuals (on the right and the left).

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Darts and Letters is hosted and edited by Gordon Katic. Our lead producer is Jay Cockburn. Our managing producer is Marc Apollonio. David Moscrop is our research assistant and wrote the show notes.

Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop, and our marketing was done by Ian Sowden.

This is a production of Cited Media. And we are backed by academic grants that support mobilizing research and democratizing the concept of public intellectualism. The founding academic advisor of the program is Professor Allen Sens at the University of British Columbia.

Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples.

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