Sodobni kapitalizem vodi v oligopolizacijo

The Economist je imel nedavno dober zapis o lažnivosti mita o samokorektivni moči trga. Pisal je o koncentraciji gospodarske aktivnosti oziroma o tem, kako na nacionalni in globalni ravni zgolj nekaj podjetij kontrolira celoten trg in da se situacija poslabšuje. Denimo delež 100 največjih podjetij v BDP v ZDA se je med letoma 1994 in 2013 povečal iz 33% na 46% in 2013, delež 5 največjih bank se je med letoma 2000 in 2014 povečal iz 25% na 45%. Pri tem pa število startupov upada. Večino startupov pa pokupijo velika podjetja, da pridejo do določene inovativne rešitve (storitve, izdelka) ali da zaprejo konkurenco. Ob tem pa se ta velika podjetja množično izogibajo plačevanju davkov in  angažirajo ogromno število lobistov, da tako v Washingtonu kot Bruslju lobirajo za regulacijo v prid največjim igralcem.

The Economist zato opozarja na drugo polovico 19. stoletja in vzpon t.i. “robber barons” v ZDA, ki so monopolizirali posamezne panoge na škodo potrošnikov in kliče k boljši regulaciji konkurence. V digitalni dobi se namreč zadeva ponavlja, nekaj velikanov obvladuje celo industrijo. Samokorekcija trga ne deluje, zato je potrebna nova konkurenčna zakonodaja, da zaščiti potrošnike na eni strani, na drugi pa zagotovi legitimnost gospodarstva v očeh prebivalstva.

 

For many laissez-faire types this is only a temporary problem. Modern technology is lowering barriers to entry; flaccid incumbents will be destroyed by smaller, leaner ones. But the idea that market concentration is self-correcting is more questionable than it once was.

Concentration is an even harder problem. America in particular has got into the habit of giving the benefit of the doubt to big business. This made some sense in the 1980s and 1990s when giant companies such as General Motors and IBM were being threatened by foreign rivals or domestic upstarts. It is less defensible now that superstar firms are gaining control of entire markets and finding new ways to entrench themselves.

Prudent policymakers must reinvent antitrust for the digital age. That means being more alert to the long-term consequences of large firms acquiring promising startups. It means making it easier for consumers to move their data from one company to another, and preventing tech firms from unfairly privileging their own services on platforms they control (an area where the commission, in its pursuit of Google, deserves credit). And it means making sure that people have a choice of ways of authenticating their identity online.

….

So, by all means celebrate the astonishing achievements of today’s superstar companies. But also watch them. The world needs a healthy dose of competition to keep today’s giants on their toes and to give those in their shadow a chance to grow.

Vir: The Economist

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