What’s in it for me? Learn about the history and problems of economic concentration.

In recent decades, industrialized nations have witnessed the reemergence of an economic problem that once seemed like a thing of the past – the problem of economic concentration. This refers to the process by which industries become dominated by a smaller and smaller number of companies, which grow bigger and bigger, until just a handful of corporate giants reign supreme.

Today, the most visible giants are those of the tech industry, such as Amazon, Facebook and Google. But those are just the tip of the iceberg. In the United States, for example, more than 75 percent of all industries have seen increasing economic concentration since the year 2000.

In these blinks, we’ll look at how and why this problem first emerged in the late nineteenth century, subsided in the early to mid-twentieth century and then reemerged in the late twentieth century. While taking this whirlwind tour of economic, political and legal history, we’ll also look at the troubling consequences of economic concentration, as well as some possible solutions.

Along the way, you’ll learn

  • the counterintuitive arguments in favor of monopolies;
  • the compelling arguments against monopolies; and
  • the important figures and movements who made those arguments.