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
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