Good for New York, especially for New York’s unions, for making it clear that the town was not for sale.
But everything else seems to be. I admit that I patronize Whole Foods, now owned by Amazon. There’s one in my neighborhood, and if you shop carefully and also go to the supermarket, it needn’t be Whole Paycheck.
But lately, since Amazon bought the chain and started cutting corners to maximize profits, I’ve noticed a distinct deterioration in quality and variety, as house brands (“365”) crowd out competitors’ shelf space, and some items have been dropped.
They’ve also just announced price hikes for some 700 products. I have vowed to shop there as little as possible.
There is a larger point here. It’s not good for the economy when a single company has so much market power to crush competitors. There is also a common carrier doctrine that you don’t get to provide the platform and also compete with (and crush or buy out) rivals who need to use the platform to market their wares.
Alert followers of my work may have discerned that I and a couple dozen other columnists just got unceremoniously dumped from HuffPost. That’s because the bean counters at Verizon (!), which now owns HuffPost, decided that we evidently were not enough of a profit center. But how does a phone company get to buy a media organ in the first place?
Ever since Reagan, the whole idea of anti-trust and fair competition has been euthanized, and the only rule is anything goes. Antitrust needs to be revived and brought up to date. Maybe the Warren-Brown Administration will do just that.