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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:58 PM
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Big Food
As huge corporations merge and get even huger, we find ourselves yearning for some old-fashioned competition, and maybe a little diversity.

Banks have gotten so big that they can unleash havoc and bill us for the pleasure. Big Oil is so big that Royal Dutch Shell is the worlds 25th-biggest economy, bigger than Norway. Four -fifths of the chips in the worlds PCs come from Intel. In the United States, AT&T and Verizon account for over half of all cellular phone customers. Big companies are likely to become even bigger. Between 2003 and 2007, the number of big mergers reported to American antitrust regulators doubled to 2,201. Though merger activity fell during the financial crisis, it is expected to rebound sharply. There is already another behemoth lumbering toward consumers: Big Food.

The latest news is Krafts planned purchase of Britains Cadbury to create a mac-and-cheese-to-candy-bar megalith with combined worldwide sales of nearly $55 billion. It comes on the heels of Heinekens purchase of the beer operations of Mexicos Femsa to create a $25 billion megabrewer. These arent even the dominant companies in their business. Switzerlands Nestl is almost twice as large as Kraft. Heineken will now be about the same size as the brewing colossus built in 2008 when Belgiums InBev bought Anheuser-Busch. At the end of 2008, 10 companies accounted for two-thirds of the worlds beer sales, up from 40 percent in 2000.

Consolidation is sold by corporate gurus as rich in synergy and efficiencies that eventually trickle down to consumers. But the supposed consumer benefits are often unconvincing. Pennzoils acquisition of Quaker State led to more expensive motor oil, Procter & Gambles purchase of Tambrands led to more expensive tampons, and General Mills purchase of the Chex brands led to more expensive cereal, according to one study. Despite limits imposed by antitrust regulators, the merger between Guinness and Grand Metropolitan to create the food and drink giant Diageo led to substantial increases in the price of Scotch.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/opinion/25mon4.html?t...
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pansypoo53219 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:20 PM
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1. we need BOTH roosevelts now.
get a little teddy in the white house and trust bust.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-09-10 03:40 AM
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