By the Numbers: The Rise of Monopolies

By the Numbers: The Rise of Monopolies

By the Numbers: The Rise of Monopolies

Industry consolidation has squashed competition and created huge profits for a tiny elite.

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Over the last 25 years, mergers across most industries in the United States have been accelerating, with 2017 setting a new record for corporate consolidation. But as companies continue to buy out their rivals, the consequences of widespread monopolization are becoming clear: Start-ups aren’t starting up; competition between companies in some sectors is rare; and profits are flowing to the tiniest, richest sliver of the country.

$1.14 trillion
Total amount (adjusted to inflation) of the 10 largest merger deals ever recorded in US history, all of which occurred in the last 20 years

50%
Drop in the share of businesses that are new firms since 1978

Two-thirds
Fraction of all corporate sectors that have become more concentrated since the 1990s

4
The number of corporations control close to 90 percent of the global grain trade

90%
The share of the media that is held by six companies. Thirty years earlier, 50 companies controlled 90 percent

4
The number of airlines—American, United, Delta, and Southwest—that control over 80 percent of the US aviation market

 

77%
The percent of all hospital admissions in the US that three hospital corporations account for

Less than 5%
The percent of merger requests over the past 10 years that were blocked or modified by US antitrust authorities over concerns regarding anticompetitive consumer price hikes

3
The number of Americans—Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett—who collectively own more wealth ($248.5 billion) than half of the US population

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