OK, clearly that headline is a bit hyperbolic. There are admittedly some benefits to consumers when large companies merge. You might get more products, better products or at least cheaper products. Or you might get punched in the face and dragged off an airplane.
So, yeah, there are some issues with mergers.
Here’s my bigger question: whose idea was this? I mean, not the fundamental concept of joining forces with another entity. But who currently is the political champion for letting corporations do whatever the fuck they want, and why? Conservatives are, in general, in favor of unfettered business growth. With the general aim of greater competition. Competition solves everything right? Even somehow magically solving the issue of having a few large companies dominating a specific market, and therefore driving down competition. But if we just deregulate that oligopoly, it will increase competition to improve customer service. I think.
And god bless them, so many liberals have a knee jerk negative response to “corporation,” “large corporation,” or “big business” that they wouldn’t bother learning the difference or meaning behind any of those things before saying they need to be stopped. That’s a whole different, although slightly less, problematic approach to take. At least because it leads to fewer instances of first degree battery.
So if the idea of monopolies and oligopolies are antithetical to both liberal and conservative policies, why are the governmental bodies tasked with protecting the country from these threats and allowing them to grow at such staggering rates? Because everyone is an asshole. Kind of. That little speech from Jim Kramer (who still has a TV show apparently (also why?)) spells it out the best. Mergers and acquisitions do shit all for most of the products and services that corporations offer, but they do wonders for everyone’s stock prices. And because we’ve spent decades bleeding pensions dry, most Americans have their retirements tied up in the stock market. Every time you spend a shitty afternoon trying to fix your cable or figure out which fucking doctor is in your network, you’re actually paying for some theoretical future time when you can give up working and focus on the terrible quality of Chili’s food full time. We’ve been made complicit in our own shittening, but at least we’ve gotten more terrible food at our even shittier airports, I guess?
Although none of this explains why Miller Lite is so bad. That’s not about economics, that’s just mean.