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  • Monopolies. These are companies which have grown so large that their dominating influence

  • on the market pushes out competition from smaller rivals. Monopolies can often harm

  • the prospects for new businesses and force customers to pay higher prices. And that’s

  • bad for any country.

  • America, and many other nations, have fair competition laws that ban monopolies. Yet,

  • as mega corporations seem to get bigger and bigger, you have to wonder, where is the distinction?

  • Are megacorporations becoming monopolies?

  • Were going to explore a few of America’s largest companies. Just to be clear, these

  • companies are not officially considered monopolies, although they have come under scrutiny by

  • the government for encroaching on fair market competition.

  • First let’s talk about Google, a company that made nearly $70 billion dollars last

  • year. It owns companies like Youtube, Android, and Waze. But it’s had numerous run-ins

  • with the Federal Trade Commission. Recently, a leaked FTC report from 2013 revealed just

  • how close the FTC was to bringing charges. Google was accused of illegal practices like

  • promoting its own affiliate websites in google search results, and restricting advertisers

  • abilities to use other search engines. The report said, Google’s conduct resulted in

  • real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.”

  • However, Google ended up settling with the FTC out of court.

  • Monsanto is another huge company that’s been accused of monopolistic practices. They

  • have patents on genetically modified seeds. Farmers are forced to purchase seeds every

  • year instead of replanting, to avoid patent infringement. Monsanto remains the leading

  • supplier of GM seeds, along with other agricultural products such as the weed killer RoundUp,

  • and a number of farming tech firms. According to Food and Water Watch, in America, 80% of

  • corn and 93% of soybeans are grown from Monsanto GMO seeds..

  • Then there’s Microsoft, a company that made almost 90 billion dollars last year. They

  • own brands like Windows, XBox, Hotmail, and Bing. In the ‘90s, the huge corporation

  • barely escaped being split in two by an antitrust lawsuit brought against them by the government.

  • The lawsuit alleged that Microsoft promoted their own web browser on the Windows operating

  • system, and shut out competitors. In 1999, a judge DID find that Microsoftmaintained

  • its monopoly power by anticompetitive means.” However, this verdict was later overturned.

  • How do some of these gigantic companies escape antitrust regulation? Well, many of the subsidiary

  • brands within the parent company occupy separate markets, as delineated by the FTC. For instance,

  • another corporate giant, Unilever, owns brands in different niche markets, likeice cream”,

  • premium ice creamandsuper premium ice cream”. Also, the mega-corporations

  • have a huge amount of financial and lobbying power. For example, Google was the fifth largest

  • political lobbyist in 2013. And Monsanto has spent almost $70 million dollars since 1998

  • on agricultural lobbying.

  • Clearly, these giant companies have major influence in their respective markets. And

  • even if they aren’t technically violating antitrust laws yet, they are right on the

  • cusp of what is considered a monopoly.

  • In order to regulate against monopolies, the government has developed what are called anti-trust

  • laws. To learn how these laws work, check out our video here. For more TestTube every

  • day of the week, please hit subscribe now. Thanks for staying with us.

Monopolies. These are companies which have grown so large that their dominating influence

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Megacorporation Or Monopoly: What’s The Difference?

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    鄭小鬼 posted on 2016/02/24
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