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.


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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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