Once upon a time, Amazon was a quirky website for buying books. Today it’s grown into a behemoth that has a hand in almost every facet of daily life, from retail shopping to streaming services to even health care — and for decades, regulators let it muscle out competition without complaint. 

That’s starting to change.

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In a landmark lawsuit filed last year by the Federal Trade Commission, the government accused Amazon of long being engaged in illegal market behavior. These regulators are now demanding the e-commerce giant be held accountable for violations of antitrust law.

The thing is, Amazon probably could have been sued a long time ago. 

This week on Lever Time, David Sirota and Senior Podcast Producer Arjun Singh explore how an ideological movement driven by business interests suppressed antitrust enforcement in the United States for almost half a century, and allowed Jeff Bezos to build his unprecedented empire. 

To read a transcript of the episode, you can click here.

On Monday’s Lever Time Premium, for paid subscribers: Did Ronald Reagan intentionally destroy middle-class wealth? According to Stacy Mitchell, co-executive director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and an expert in monopoly power, the answer is yes. Listen in to learn why.