Competition, Monopolies, and dominance / by kevin murray

America claims that it is a country of meritocracy and vibrant competition, of which, companies in all sorts of industries and businesses freely compete against one another, thereby not only providing a more competitive price but also more "bang for the buck" for their clients and because of such competition, these companies are obligated to continually improve themselves and to adjust their gamesmanship and strategies in order to stay competitive. 


In point of fact, while there are many industries in America that are quite competitive, in which, no single player has more than 5% of a given market share, there are also industry upon industry in which a very small contingent of companies or even just one company has at least 50% market share, thereby essentially making a monopoly for some of these companies.  Of even more disappointment, in this era of ubiquitous hi-technology, of which, one would think, that these young and innovative companies would quite obviously be competing against many other young and innovative companies one probably sees more domination by monopolies than in any other industry.  For instance, Google from a search engine perspective, as reported by has as of August of 2018, a staggering 90.88% market share.  The Microsoft desktop operating system worldwide as of August of 2018, as reported by has an astonishing 82.45% market share.  Finally, Facebook's social media worldwide market share as of August of 2018, as reported by is an incredible 65.29%, and Facebook has only been a publically owned company since May of 2012.


The bottom line is that when corporations that are already significant in size, are permitted to buy out their competition, or to buy out technology that could present competition to them, or purposely buy out innovative technology that could negatively impact their market share, or to vertically integrate themselves without hindrance, or to basically have carte blanche to spend their money or the stock equivalency of money on anything that they so desire without limitations, than all of this combined will not just maintain their status but clearly significantly solidify it and to grow it, thereby essentially dominating a market so much, that the pendulum of pricing and the structure of that pricing will be firmly in their control; with the end result being that these companies will undoubtedly have gross margins and thereby gross profits that are significantly higher than companies of similar size that are actually competing in the marketplace.


This government and its regulators, have an absolute responsibility to its citizens to not only breakup companies that effectively are monopolies, but also to breakup duopolies, as well as breaking up oligopolies.  In absence of effective legislation that does exactly this, what transpires is what we see happening in America, today, which is that the very rich are getting richer, the middle class is getting hollowed out, and the poor are getting poorer.  All of this comes down to the fact, that in situations in which industries are dominated by one or a few players, of which there are no truly good viable alternatives, than the pricing and availability of those goods, are going to be structured in a manner that those purveyors benefit from, at the expense of the users and buyers of those goods and services. 


In 1911, the Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil was an illegal monopoly that had grown to its gargantuan size through horizontal as well as vertical integration, with the upshot being that Standard Oil was dissolved by that court into 34 smaller companies.  Unfortunately, that landmark decision was made over one hundred years ago and clearly this Supreme Court along with this current government has no intention of breaking up any of the monopolies or their equivalencies that currently exist, which makes for the very best of times for those untouchable and super powerful corporations.