Monopolies are bad. Bad for you. Bad for me. Bad for everyone except the monopoly owners. What’s a monopoly you say? A monopoly is the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service. Sounds pretty wonky but it’s not.
You may not know it but monopolies control at least some part of your world and it’s not to your benefit. As local businesses, we thrive on free enterprise. Free enterprise fuels our creativity, feeds our passions (business-wise that is) and creates an environment for our businesses to thrive. Many may look at government regulation as the threat to free enterprise but there is a greater threat at our doorstep—monopolies.
The very nature of monopolies—those gigantic corporations controlling too much of the marketplace—dictates that they control the market. Controlling the market means they control supply chain and pricing. That’s your supply chain too. You may not even realize that a monopoly could be deciding on availability, pricing and even content of the products you sell and use in your local business. It’s not just about being bigger and getting volume price discounts that you can’t get. It’s about controlling what you can get and when you can get it.
What can you do? First become aware through education on monopolies. Learn what to look for. Once you know what to look for, you may see it in numerous places. We’ll help you with this. Second, take the action of telling us what you’ve seen. That’s all. AMIBA will take it from there. we have a team of experts who will investigate and evaluate the situation and take action from there.
This is why AMIBA is involved in Anti-Monopoly work—to ensure a more level playing field for small local business. In the coming months we will be launching events and campaigns to spread the word on monopolies. Follow us in this important work. It’s good for your business and our local communities. It’s not a yellow brick road, it’s paved with gold squeezed monopolizing and it’s no wizard behind the curtain, it’s a monopoly. Help us pull back the curtain.
Rebecca Melançon, Director of Policy & Research at the Local Business Institute