The other monopolies
The tech industry isn’t the only one consolidating. More than 75 percent of U.S. industries have experienced an increase in concentration over the past two decades. Eighty percent of plane seats are sold by just four airlines: American, Delta, Southwest, and United. The drugstore and pharmacy industry is dominated by the duopoly of CVS and Walgreens. The effects are obvious. Airlines are shrinking seats and services, charging for baggage and food, forcing passengers to make one or more stops, and raising prices on noncompetitive routes. With the number of big media companies also shrinking, Americans now fork out more than double what Europeans pay for highspeed broadband. Lina Khan of New America, a Washington-based think tank, says, “We are living in a world of extreme consolidation and concentration”—and when there is less competition, consumers inevitably pay the price.