Collusion refers to private conversations, agreements, and activities which are protected by privacy rights. It should not be confused with conspiracy, which are conversations, agreements and activities between two or more individuals with the intent to violate law.
In America, anti-Trust collusion has been illegal since the early populist movement.
History of the term
The term "collusion" entered the popular lexicon with the publication of Ida Tarbell's History of Standard Oil, as a buzzword used by populists to describe nefarious activities of the super-rich in the late 19th and early 20th century. It became a smear word among progressives to promote class envy without those using it having to understand or define specifically what it is.
Collusion is basically private conversations. In itself, the activity is innocuous and routine. Collusion is what occurs all day, every day, in private meetings in the White House, Pentegon, closed door Congressional hearings, corporate board rooms, psychiatrist offices, between journalists and sources, in confessional booths, and among young sweethearts. Because of libel laws, journalists' have referred to such activity as collusion rather than conspiracy, giving the term a more ominous meaning without accusing people of criminal activity.
Anti-Trust collusion (illegal)
Anti-trust collusion is basically hiding profit making assets in non-profit trust entities in which the benefactor or grantor retains control for his own benefit. In the United States it is illegal under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, although the law has historically been selectively enforced.
John D. Rockefeller was notorious for colluding with railroads to deny competitors transport of their product, and drive mom n' pop oil producers out of business. He was accused of unfair trade practices. Rockefeller held most all of his assets in Trust, making himself both the grantor and beneficiary. For this, a body of Antitrust law grew up.
Rockefeller became so rich in the oil businesss, and so dominant as a monopoly, he began buying up businesses outside the oil industry. Having little knowledge how some of the businesses operated, and fearful the managers might be stealing from him, Rockefeller held these entities in Trust for his own benefit. Soon Rockefeller owned every business in whole towns, held in Trust and managed by teams of lawyers and accountant will little practical knowledge how the business they oversaw actually functioned.
This state of affairs created tremendous public resentment. People felt they were being denied the opportunity to compete. Investigative journalist Ida Tarbell asserted that Rockefeller gained monopoly control by collusion and unfair practices. A populist movement was spawned of Trust Busters running for Congress, vowing support for the little guy - small business, and to end unfair trade practices. Marxists piggybacked on this anti-big business sentiment with class warfare.
Collusion in business is usually an agreement among members of a cartel in a particular industry not to compete in order to create artificial disincentives for new competitors, although collusion between industries can also occur, such as collusion between manufactures and railroads as in the case of Standard Oil, or between internet service platforms and news organizations to limit competition and deny InfoWars market access. In both examples, the public is ill-served by greedy corporate monopolies.
In cartel collusion, a group of large competitors, a cartel, divvy up market share among themselves to gain monopoly control, and manipulate prices and profitability to make it impossible for a start-up competitor to gain market access. Thus, the public is denied the benefits of lower prices and improvements that come with time. It can also be called "price rigging" or "unfair competition."
LobbyingAdam Smith said,
"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary."Smith's statement is interesting in that it's critical of government for encouraging formation of lobbying trade groups to speak with one voice in regulatory matters, such as Big Pharma, for example. Lobbying by nature is collusion; first members of a trade association collude amongst themselves to regulate membership; secondly, once they are organized they hire a lobbyist to collude with legislators and regulators for decisions and actions favorable to their industry.
When the government grants protection or assents to collusion and monopoly control it is a form of "corporate cronyism."
Big Tech and media giants
In August 2018 the large tech firms Apple, Facebook, Google and others, colluded, in the space of 12 hours, to deny InfoWars access to social media. InfoWars was a fast rising Media Production site surpassing the BBC and other large News and Media sites in viewership and market share in November 2016. It's official APP was ranked #4 in Apple's App Store, above Google News (#5), CNN (#6), Fox News (#7), Buzzfeed (# 10), The New York Times (#11), ABC (#19), and BBC (#26) at the time Silicon Valley tech giants colluded together to destroy it.
This type of collusion was intended to limit competition in media production, and for monopoly control of news information.
The OPEC cartel is an example of competitors in an industry colluding together to limit production and set prices. Each member agrees to a production quota which, cumulatively, sets the world price. If a member exceeds its production quota, it has the effect of driving down the world price and profitability of all members. If other members exceed their quota, a price war erupts from which some members may not survive.
Leftwing extremist Colin Kaepernick asked for arbitration alleging that NFL owners "colluded" to blacklist him after he violated league and franchise rules. Kaepernick had willfully violated the terms of his player contract and was terminated. Kaepernick refused to cooperate with management undrr the terms of contract to promote the game of football and the image of the league. In an interview with ESPN, Kaepernick called America racist, bringing disrepute and a public boycott upon the league. When Kaepernick refused to cooperate with San Francisco 49ers' management in promotional affairs to stand during the national anthem, his contract was terminated.
For Kaepernick to win his arbitration, he'd have to prove 32 franchise owners met in secret and conspired to target him individually in violation of collective bargaining agreements, rather than exercising a standing agreement among owners and a league rule not to re-hire a player terminated from one member franchise for being uncooperative with management, refusing to participate in franchise and league promotions, and bringing public disrespect on the NFL and game of football.
Collusion is the process by which journalists obtain leaks. A journalist must collude with a source to get information. While a government leaker faces jail time for leaking, the journalist is protected by the First Amendment,  so it's not a conspiracy per se.
Collusion with foreign nations
The Left has colluded with Russia since at least the 1930s. It also supports having its allies interfere in the domestic politics of other countries even when it strongly opposes its political opponents doing the same.
Left-wing California Senator Dianne Feinstein, an important member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, unwittingly colluded with Chinese spies for 20 years. Democrats and establishment Republicans also have no problem colluding with China by participating in "China Town Halls", which serve as propaganda for the Chinese government. China is trying to take control of the U.S.'s domestic society. Members of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations have colluded with China.
James Comey colluded at the White House all morning on May 16, 2016; President Obama had suggested the language "careless" in a public statement earlier rather than criminal "negligence" which was Comey's finding.
That afternoon a group of FBI personnel colluded in Peter Strzok's office to drop the felonious finding of gross negligence against Hillary Clinton, for which she faced 10 years in prison if convicted, and substituted "careless" as President Obama had suggested.
In August 2018, over 300 mainstream media outlets colluded to run op-eds on the same day to attack President Trump for not accepting their left-wing bias against him. A Reuters journalist colluded with Beto O'Rourke to not reveal his membership in a hacker group until after the 2018 U.S. Senate election in Texas.
This type of collusion is intended to bar competition and for monopoly control in the marketplace of ideas.
- "collusion" of the "monied interests" were big issues in every election cycle throughout the populist and Progressive era (c.1892-1916). https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/01/populism-douglas-hofstadter-donald-trump-democracy
- The progressive's notion that through collusion "power pyramids" and the top 1% control all the wealth. The simple facts are in a democratic society with an elected parliament the government itself encourges collusion through lobbying trade groups. Few elected representatives are specialists in any industry, and no one wants to grant special favors to a single company. So the government encourages competitors in an industry facing regulation to speak with one voice through a lobbying trade association.
Progressives basically argue for an anti-democratic technocracy through simple-minded slogans.
- In other words, he would pay railroads more, above market price, to transport his oil and deny service to smaller competitors. The volume of his product allowed him to operate on a slim profit margin. Even if a smaller competitor could pay the artificial higher transport fees created by Rockefeller's collusion with the railroads, it wiped out their profit. Ultimately, the smaller companies had to sell out to Rockefeller, making Standard Oil even bigger and more monopolistic. Once all competition is eliminated, Rockefeller than could raise prices and gouge the public at will.
- Or Barriers to entry into a market or industry.
- A cartel with monopoly control is sometimes referred to as an oligopoly.
- Government sometimes has an incentive to favor Big Business and monopolistic trade practices because of the larger tax revenues they create, and their ability to produce larger tax revenues faster in a new, unregulated industry. This tendency by the government to encourage unfair trade practices historically has been countered by populist movements.
This incentive only became bigger with passage of the Corporate Income Tax, a so-called "Progressive reform," that came after passage of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
- Kaepernick claimed people "have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land," and refused to stand for the national anthem. https://www.espn.com/blog/san-francisco-49ers/post/_/id/18957/transcript-of-colin-kaepernicks-comments-about-sitting-during-national-anthem
- See Nixon v. New York Times regarding the Pentagon Papers. The President personally sued the New York Times in a case testing the limits of presidential power in a national security matter. The Attorney General and FBI thought it was a hopeless First Amendment case and didn't want to investigate or prosecute. After Nixon lost the csse, he went outside government and created the Plumbers unit to deal with leakers and leaking..
- Byas, Steve (February 13, 2018). The Left's Collusion With the Russians Is Nothing New. The New American. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Deacon, Liam (July 2, 2018). Confirmed: Cameron Told Obama to Say Brexit Britain Would Be ‘Back of the Queue’. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- Delingpole, James (July 2, 2018). Delingpole: Sinister Foreign Leader Caught Trying to Overturn Democratic Vote in UK… Breitbart News. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- Wirtz, Bill (June 5, 2018). Europe’s Hypocritical Fury Towards Trump’s Ambassador. The American Conservative. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Loudon, Trevor (August 6, 2018). Feinstein’s Ties to China Extend Beyond Chinese Spy. The Epoch Times. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
- Wolverton, Joe (August 7, 2018). Feinstein Employed Chinese Spy for 20 Years. The New American. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
- Rodriguez, Katherine (August 4, 2018). Reports: Dianne Feinstein’s Longtime Driver Was a Chinese Spy. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
- Jasper, William F. (August 13, 2018). New Info on Feinstein’s Chinese Spy — Media, FBI Complicit in Cover-up. The New American. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Jasper, William (August 9, 2018). Real Collusion: “China Town Hall” Brings Beijing’s Propagandists to Your Home Town. The New American. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
- Duke, Selwyn (August 27, 2018). Chinese Collusion: China Looking to Dominate U.S. From Without — and From Within. The New American. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Jasper, William F. (April 15, 2018). Real Collusion: CFR Globalists/Communist China Vs. Trump. The New American. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Nolte, John (August 13, 2018). Nolte: 128 Establishment News Outlets Coordinate Attack on Trump. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Duke, Selwyn (August 14, 2018). Media Collusion: 100-plus Papers Agree to Simultaneously Run Anti-Trump Editorials. The New American. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- Singman, Brooke (August 16, 2018). Trump accuses The Boston Globe of ‘COLLUSION’ with other papers as hundreds run editorials against him. Fox News. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
- Flood, Brian (August 15, 2018). Coordinated anti-Trump editorials 'sure to backfire,' critic warns. Fox News. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Kirkwood, R. Cort (March 19, 2019). Reuters Reporter Promised O’Rourke He Would Withhold Revelations. The New American. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
- Nolte, John (March 17, 2019). Nolte: Reuters Reporter Covered Up Damaging Beto Info During Texas Senate Race. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
- Flood, Brian (March 18, 2019). Reuters reporter takes heat for sitting on Beto O’Rourke hacker story until after Senate race against Cruz. Fox News. Retrieved March 20, 2019.