1. The four largest food companies control 82 percent of beef packing, 85 percent of soybean processing, 63 percent of pork packing, and 53 percent of chicken processing.
2. There are many brands of toothpaste, but 70 percent of all of it comes from just two companies.
3. You may think you have your choice of sunglasses, but they’re almost all from one company: Luxottica – which also owns nearly all the eyeglass retail outlets.
4. Practically every plastic hanger in America is now made by one company, Mainetti.
5. What brand of cat food should you buy? Looks like lots of brands but behind them are basically just two companies.
6. What about your pharmaceuticals? Yes, you can get low-cost generic versions. But drug companies are in effect paying the makers of generic drugs to delay cheaper versions. Such “pay for delay” agreements are illegal in other advanced economies, but antitrust enforcement hasn’t laid a finger on them in America. They cost you and me an estimated $3.5 billion a year.
7. You think your health insurance will cover the costs? Health insurers are consolidating, too. Which is one reason your health insurance premiums, copayments, and deductibles are soaring.
8. You think you have a lot of options for booking discount airline tickets and hotels online? Think again. You have only two. Expedia merged with Orbitz, so that’s one company. And then there’s Priceline.
9. How about your cable and Internet service? Basically just four companies (and two of them just announced they’re going to merge).
Monday, May 07, 2018
Not good news
According to Robert Reich: