What is a Monopoly?


America Juarez, Staff Writer

Have you ever played Monopoly? Rolling the dice, buying and trading the properties, and developing houses, until a player owns all the properties and wins the game. This is not too far from reality. A monopoly is defined as one producer (or a group of producers) that controls the supply of goods or service, and where the entry of new producers is prevented or highly restricted. Companies in the U.S such as Coca-Cola and McDonald are monopolies, yet many don’t know. This affects our daily lives whether we realize it or not.

Many don’t know why monopolies are bad and how it affects us people that are not wealthy. When companies have such power, prices of products increase because they are the only providers. They could set any price they want. Since they have no competitors in the market, the quality of the product will also be poor. Consumers will not have anything to compare the products to. Not only is this bad for customers, but it’s also bad for the economy. When asked about how they feel about monopolies Argelia Orozco responded, “I think monopolies could really affect us in the future because if there are only producers, they will be too powerful and will control all of us.”

These are Coca-Cola bottle caps

Coca-Cola is one of the most well-known beverages in the world. It’s, in fact, the world’s largest beverage company. They own Sprite, which is the number one selling lemon-lime-flavored soft drink, Fanta, Dasani, Ciel, Smartwater, Minute Maid, Simply Orange, Honest Tea, Fuze Beverage and more. Soft drink fountains make up 27 percent of soft drink sales in the U.S. and Coca-Cola makes up 65 percent of that. They are also ahead of their competitors, leading the soft drink market in general with 69 percent and Pepsi with 30 percent.

This the classic McDonald’s sign

McDonald’s is one of the world’s richest and popular food chain. They have restaurants in roughly 37,000 locations in more than 115 countries. What many don’t know is that they own more that one company including Dairy Queen, Krispy Kreme, Panera Bread, and more. In 2015, McDonald was leading the fast food industry by 17 percent. Each McDonald restaurant makes an average of 2.7 million dollars per year. Mcdonald is the biggest and richest fast food chain in America.

Farms are also involved in monopolies. You would think there is a variety of Agriculture Companies, but big agriculture corporations buy all the small farms. Therefore, there is a limited amount of selection. In 1996, the ten biggest seed produces had a market share of 30%. Now the three biggest producers (Du Pont’s, Monsanto, Syngenta) control more than 50% of the market. This makes seeds way more expensive than it needs to be. Livestock breeding is also very important. There are only four companies worldwide that breed chicken. Those companies include Hormel, Tyson, Swift, and Smithfield. They make 99% of the market share.

As you could tell from the examples, monopolistic characteristics are prominent in these companies. There are only a few companies that lead the food industry which prevents us to have a variety of choice. They affect us negatively and we should put an end to monopolies.