Early in her newest book, Break ‘Em Up, Zephyr Teachout retells the story of an Amazon air hockey seller. The seller, whose air hockey table was one of the top-3 search results until Amazon introduced sponsored ads. Coincidently, despite years of sales and popular reviews, the product dropped off the search charts with their arrival—even… Continue reading
Retailers not manufacturers control retail pricing. This wasn’t always the case. Learn how politics informed commerce and ultimately enabled Walmart.
G.E. was the definition of a conglomerate–and now it’s not. Learn what the corporate structure is, its’ strengths and weaknesses through a G.E. case study.
On March 23, a day when the United States registered 135 coronavirus deaths, Sanderson Farms, America’s third-largest poultry processor, announced one of their workers tested positive for the virus. It was the first reported case from a major meat processor. Three days later, Smithfield Foods joined the fray by announcing an additional case at its… Continue reading
In November 2019, during an economic expansion, Dean Foods declared bankruptcy. The nation’s largest dairy company, with the number one white and chocolate milk brand, could not make money. In January 2020, Borden Dairy followed suit. Most post-mortems dealt with the fact that both companies produced dairy — a product that fewer and fewer people… Continue reading
If you want to understand why small retailers struggle in modern America, you need to understand one thing: fair trade laws. Today, fair trade is typically presented in the context of international trade. Essentially, a regulation that allows producers in the developing world to compete with large multinational conglomerates who have massive scale and purchasing… Continue reading
Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University, spent the last decade establishing himself as one of the pre-eminent antitrust thinkers. In the Master Switch and The Attention Merchants, Wu used a wide-angle lens to examine the implications of the rising information cartels on American business and society. In The Curse of Bigness, Wu takes… Continue reading
Google, Amazon, and Facebook are modern-day railroads. The technology companies are three of the few organizations that own and control our modern infrastructure. Connor Dougherty published a nice look at how Google’s monopolist position impacts the businesses that rely on the infrastructure it owns. Like farmers and railroads before, web service providers like Yelp are effectively… Continue reading
In 1946, over a decade before he became the architect of the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara was hired to rehaul the Ford Motor Company. It was in desperate need of help. The iconic corporation was hemorrhaging about $9 million a month. McNamara, an accountant by training who rose to prominence by applying statistical methods to… Continue reading