Apr 7, 2022 - Economy & Business

Big business loses its political allies

An elephant stomping on a briefcase

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Most political pundits expect at least one house of Congress to switch hands this fall, and there could be more power shifts in 2024.

  • But one thing won't change, no matter which political party is in charge: antipathy toward big business, which often manifests as antitrust enforcement.

Republicans are no longer Corporate America's ally, with many GOP candidates viewing a Chamber of Commerce endorsement as akin to a scarlet letter. It's a massive transformation, driven by Donald Trump's particular brand of populism, and extends beyond the highest-profile punching bags in Silicon Valley.

Democrats have for decades given big business the side-eye, even when allying on some recent social issues, and the Biden administration has taken an increasingly tough line on corporate mergers.

  • To be sure, most big businesses did well in the Trump era and also are thriving under Biden. But their ability to grow inorganically is increasingly being challenged.

The bottom line: There is bipartisan unity in reflexively opposing big business mergers. It's not on the list when CEOs gripe about uncertainties, even though they may wish it was.

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