You can’t help recognize the parallels.
From the Constitutional Rights Foundation:
“By 1880, Standard Oil owned or controlled 90 percent of the U.S. oil refining business, making it the first great industrial monopoly in the world.
“When the Standard Oil Trust was formed in 1882, it produced most of the world's lamp kerosene, owned 4,000 miles of pipelines and employed 100,000 workers.”
It was big. That’s why the Sherman Anti-Trust laws were enacted, to deal with companies that were simply too large and too dangerous.
Here’s an item from Investopedia:
“The Clayton Act was introduced in 1914. It set some specific examples of practices that would attract Sherman's hammer. Among these were interlocking directorships, tie-in sales and certain mergers and acquisitions if they substantially lessened the competition in a market. This was followed by a succession of other acts demanding that businesses consult the government before any large mergers or acquisitions took place.”
Consumers, like the marching morons of a Cordwainer Smith story, are just happy and can’t see the forest because the trees, “the deals,” get in the way. We want things to be convenient and cheap: at any cost.
Always the low cost, as Walmart tells us.
Here’s an item from Philly Biz Journal:
“The world's richest man (worth about $93 billion), according to the latest Forbes billionaire rankings, Jeff Bezos, picked up some pocket change after his company's stock hit an all-time high a share price of $1,125.
“The Amazon CEO sold off $1.1 billion worth at prices between $1,109 and $1,088 a share.”
While retail stores and malls are closing, or coming dangerously close to that, one entity, almost singlehandedly, is grabbing all the goods.
Now, apparently, according to Retail Dive, 85 percent of shoppers do their shopping online.
Amazon stock has grown more than 400 percent in a five-year period. While all the cities on the East Coast are clamoring for Headquarters 2, another satellite headquarters location for the company, think of all the retail that’s not going on right now because people would rather point and click.
Just the facts:
According to Business Insider, Amazon accounts for 43 percent of U.S. online retail sales.
“Amazon is taking an increasing share of the U.S. apparel market, according to Morgan Stanley.
"Internet retailers (led by Amazon) have added $27.8 billion to their apparel revenue since 2005, while department stores have lost $29.6 billion," analysts at the bank wrote. “This share loss appears at risk of accelerating given 1) Amazon's bigger push into fashion and 2) consumer willingness/acceptance to shop fashion through Amazon."
(I know, we are using Amazon links to these books. Like at one time, everybody picked up a phone system manufactured, registered and managed by AT&T. What are you going to do, stay off the phone?)
But Amazon is killing any type of competition. Here's something from Money and Career Cheat Sheet:
“Remember Borders? What about Circuit City, Tower Records, or Musicland? Those stores were all big chains back in 1995, when Amazon debuted. Now they’re all gone, due in part to pressure from the online retailer that’s upended the American retail landscape.
“Jeff Bezos’ company has been blamed for killing off once-stalwart retail chains, forever changing the way we read and shop for books and squashing small businesses. And to hear some tell it, the path to total Amazon domination is just beginning. One investment firm even has a ‘Death by Amazon’ index that tracks the stock prices of 54 retail chains they believe are most threatened by the online retailer.
“Of course, Amazon isn’t always solely responsible for killing off struggling stores. Bad leadership and strategic mistakes have done as much to cripple companies, such as Sears and J.C. Penney, as competition from Amazon, according to some. But when a megaretailer like Amazon gets a category in its crosshairs, companies in that space generally need to brace for impact.
“As Amazon expands into even more areas of retail, from grocery stores to auto parts, the number of companies under threat is growing. If these businesses can’t figure out a solution fast, they might be the next stores destroyed by Amazon.”
Is Amazon too big? Was Standard Oil too big?
Just looking at the share of the market, and how people are buying things, including food: ask yourself again, are they too big?