Mega-Merger Addiction

This report, written by Padraic Cassidy, come from the MarketWatch section of the left-wing CBS News website. It is dated today, August 22nd.

American washing machine giant Whirlpool has bought out its rival Maytag for US$ 2.7 billion. According to Cassidy's report, a combined Whirlpool-Maytag company would hold 48% of the major appliance market (which includes washing machines, dryers, microwave ovens and so on). It's two rivals are General Electric - holding 26% - and Electrolux - holding 20%.

The proposed merger must now face government scrutiny over possible anti-trust law violations.

The major companies in the dying West are addicted to buying out or merging with one another, much like an alcoholic or a drug or sex addict is enslaved to whatever drives their addictions. At the very least, this proposed Whirlpool-Maytag combine will lessen competition in the domestic American marketplace.

And that is never a good thing.

Worse, too many of the brands of appliances we see today - Amana, Magic King, Admiral, Hoover and so on - are actually owned by either of these two companies. They are not independent entities. The illusion of competition is preserved but the reality underneath is just crass monopolization.

As we Distributists see it, these big companies should have never been allowed to grow so huge to begin with. And the Socialistic bureaucrats in the halls of power - Federal and state - should have never joined hands with such conglomerates. Instead, they give them tax breaks and taxpayer-financed incentives to dominate the market. Thus setting up a scenario where small, local appliance companies meeting local needs are beaten before the game begins, so to speak.

At the very least, the Federal government - if it has any sense - should rule against the proposed Maytag-Whirlpool merger. Furthermore, it should command the two companies break up into smaller ones, like what Bell Telephone was ordered to do decades ago. This would spur competition nationally between them, as well as encourage new companies - preferably (to us) worker-owned and managed co-op style companies - to sell their wares to the consumer.

And we'd encourage contacting Congressmen and Senators to demand this proposed merger be stopped in its tracks.


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