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Monopolistic, or at least oligopolistic pricing power has become an essential component of US capitalism.
The airline and cable-Internet industries seem, to me, to be the industries where consolidation has been the most obviously awful for people.
Unfortunately, in the cable-Internet industry, consumers are basically screwed. A handful of the really powerful networks can basically increase their fees at will, and the Comcasts of the world, who enjoy either monopoly power or, at least, strong advantages over in-market rivals (like DSL), can pass it on to consumers.
Even if the cable providers could gain enough market power to force the networks to cut fees, it's not going to get passed on to consumers. It'd just be shifting money from ESPN to Comcast.
And the capital and regulatory hurdles make it virtually impossible for new entrants unless it's somebody like Google who's got more money than it knows what to do with.
At this point, the airlines aren't even worth bothering with unless you're going across several states or overseas.
Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
Other than the issues that have come up with privacy and copyright (not to be ignored obviously) it isn't an industry prone to natural monopolies versus say anything infrastructure related like power and telecom.
you are the media you consume.
Today, the giant foundries are still there, but the "silicon" startup have dried up. And as an equipment designer, your choice of chip set platforms keeps shrinking, even in supposedly "hot" sectors like Wi-Fi...
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