Tag Archives | monopolies

Paul Krugman: Comcast and Time Warner ‘Barons of Broadband’

Pic: PD

Pic: PD

Paul Krugman rightly casts a jaundiced eye at the Comcast/Time Warner merger…

Via New York Times:

Last week’s big business news was the announcement that Comcast, a gigantic provider of cable TV and high-speed Internet service, has reached a deal to acquire Time Warner Cable, which is merely huge. If regulators approve the deal, Comcast will be an overwhelmingly dominant player in the business, with around 30 million subscribers.

So let me ask two questions about the proposed deal. First, why would we even think about letting it go through? Second, when and why did we stop worrying about monopoly power?

On the first question, broadband Internet and cable TV are already highly concentrated industries, with a handful of corporations accounting for most of the customers. Once upon a time antitrust authorities, looking at this situation, would probably have been trying to cut Comcast down to size. Letting it expand would have been unthinkable.

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…And Then They Came for Our Beer

Picture: FMVH (CC)

Business week’s “The Plot to Destroy America’s Beer” shines the light on another victim of multinational corporations: beer. Independent brewers and others are being run out of business or co-opted (and then destroyed) by AB InBev, a ruthless company intent on total beer supremacy. AB InBev already owns close to 50 percent of America’s beer market, as it is.  In many cases, beer drinkers don’t learn that their tried-and-true favorites have become AB InBev puppets until after they pop the first cap in a six pack, and now they’re complaining that their favorite brands have lost their characteristic tastes under the stewardship the company:

One Friday night in January, Rinfret, who is now 52, stopped on the way home from work at his local liquor store in Monroe, N.J., and purchased a 12-pack of Beck’s. When he got home, he opened a bottle. “I was like, what the hell?” he recalls.

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