Oligopoly Watch

New ways to talk about transnationals
Erica Wetter Utne.com
January 22, 2004
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Tired of complaining about globalization and the few evil transnationals that seem to control everything? Steve Hannaford was too, but rather than complain, he created 'Oligopoly Watch,' a blog that he updates daily with interpretations of the economic moves of the most powerful corporations.

'Are oligopolies sinister?' asks Hannaford, referring to situations where one market sector has but a few sellers. 'Very possibly,' he answers. 'But I think it's more useful to see how and why they work than simply rail against globalism and greed.'

On 'Oligopoly Watch,' Hannaford not only reports daily on 'the latest maneuvers' in the business sector, but also provides an elaborate terminology for discussing the current situation. 'All industries tend toward oligopoly,' he says. For that matter, 'oligopolies lead to oligopsonies,' -- or, those market sectors for which there are only a few buyers. Typically, he concludes, a transnational (like Cadbury, for instance) has both an oligopoly and an oligopsony on a market, which makes it an 'oligonomy,' a word that Hannaford himself coined.

If all these 'oli's make your head spin, not to worry, Hannaford's site has links galore to definitions and explanations of the terms. But for those who simply want to cut to the chase and get the dirt on the largest corporations, Hannaford has created company profiles for giants like Bertelsmann, Clear Channel, and others. The site also has maps of the 'oli's that dominate the beverage, recording, and movie industries.

'In part, this blog is my way of keeping a diary of the many moves toward oligopoly that take place every day,' states Hannaford. 'If nothing else, it's fascinating to see how they do it.'

Go there>>Oligopoly Watch

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