We generally associate individual brands to be the biggies of the market. But what if we told you that the biggest monopolies are those that we fail to notice, yet are entangled in our everyday life. We bring to you 8 such monopolies which will change the way you look at brands.
All your Zippers belongs to us!!!
Quick, check the zipper of your trouser and try to make out the letters written on it. We bet it has “YKK” imprinted on it.
Don’t be surprised! 90% of zippers are made by the Japanese company – YKK Group. They exclusive deal in zippers and their monopoly ensures that all the zippers, from your trouser to car seats to ladies purses are made by them. Even China’s clothing industry imports these zippers from Japan!
YKK Group started in 1934 and controls all the processes required to make a zipper. The zipper they produce costs less than a dollar and the quality speaks for itself. Which is why other companies do not want to jump into the field making sure that our kids and grandkids will also be wearing YKK.
All your Beers belongs to us!!!
Ask anyone about their favorite beer, chances are that they will mention one of these popular brands: Budweiser, Corona, Stella, Becks or Bud Light. Hardcore fans might even fight about it, which is when you can step in and let them know that all of these, among 200 others, are owned by the single company, Anheuser-Busch InBev.
AB InBev owns more than half of the beers produced all over the world! Their monopoly is such that even the Justice department in the US is worried about the market control they have.
A series of never ending acquisitions by the company ensures that they keep their market dominance. Often going after smaller competitions to make sure that the average price of the beer is always inflated, which is referred as the trigger strategy by experts.
All your Satellite Radios belongs to us!!!
Buzzed and looking at your zipper, you call Uber or sit in your friend’s car to get home. Well, then there’s a hundred percent chance that the car will have a satellite radio. And the only company to make those is Sirius XM.
Sirius and XM were competitors before 2007 but their merger changed everything for them and the market. The monopoly of the company is such that the company’s stock has risen 82 times the price from 2009 and doesn’t look like it will come down soon.
They currently have 27 million paid subscribers and even giants like Pandora or Spotify are finding it tough to breach their market.
All your Corn belongs to us!!!
After the buzzing night! You wake up in the morning with a headache (and little memory of the night), force yourself out of the bed and start preparing some corn flakes. Bam! You just made a little profit for Monsanto without even knowing about it.
While they barely missed out on our list of evil corporations (because of the way they trick their farmers), it doesn’t mean that they are not biggies in what they do. In fact, almost any corn produced in US comes from Monsanto, either directly or indirectly.
They hold a staggering 80% of the market and if you think that only corn-loving people would be using them, then you are dead wrong, as corn is present in almost everything we consume or use. It is used in ketchup, salad dressing, fries and even yogurt. Moving beyond food products, you can find corn in make up, shoe polish and even in your toothpaste. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the corn consumption.
All your Tech belongs to us!!!
Moving beyond breakfast, you open your laptop to check your emails feeling proud of the fact that you own a Mac (or maybe you are a Windows guy). Well, it doesn’t matter… as any and every tech gadget is powered by Intel. Whether it’s your bank teller’s computer or your favorite departmental store’s payment handler, everything is powered by Intel’s chips.
They used to own 80% of the market before 2014, with the poor second going to AMD. The sheer muscle power they had led many in the industry to accuse them of just giving enough space to AMD to dodge the US regulations.
They replied back… by seemingly giving up that ruse! And now they own 98 *friggin* percent of the tech market.
All your Diamonds belongs to us!!!
With the hangover giving away, the night starts to come back to you. It all made sense now, the reason you were looking at your zipper was not because of the awe for YKK, but rather because you eyed those pretty girls in the bar! And now you owe an apology to your girlfriend. Time to buy her a diamond to get rid of that guilt… after all, “Diamonds are forever,” Right!
Thinking on the same lines, you start browsing Tiffany (or any other diamond brands) on your laptop. Guess what! It doesn’t matter what chain you select as almost all the diamonds of the world comes from DeBeers. Hell! they even state Tiffany as their buyers along with 75 others.
DeBeers have owned and heavily inflated the diamond market since the emergence of the market itself. Infact, the phrase “Diamonds are forever” was done by N.W. Ayer, one of the oldest ad agencies of the world on the behest of DeBeers.
To put it in a broader context, Diamonds are not rare, but their supply chain is. It is mostly handled by DeBeers, who purposefully release few diamonds every year to ensure that the price always moves up. It all started with the De Beers Group of companies securing the huge diamond mine of South Africa in 1870. After that, they relied on building public perception and heavy marketing to ensure that everyone craves for the “precious” rock.
All your Glasses belongs to us!!!
Perception or not, it doesn’t matter… If your girl thinks that diamonds are special, then they are regardless of their qualities. Slightly annoyed at the author, you shut your laptop and decide to go check the store out by yourself.
You step out in the sun and pull out your Ray-Ban, keeping Versace in your pocket, just in case the author decides to step in again. Afterall, two competitive brands cannot be owned by a single company. Wrong again! It doesn’t matter whether you choose Rayban, Oakley, Versace, Chanel, Burberry, Prada or anything else. All these glasses are designed and manufactured by Luxottica, which owns over 80% of all the designer eye wear sold in the entire world.
Wondering why the prices of these brands are not the same when they come from the same company? The simple answer is that they are priced the same till these companies decide to weigh in on the price, according to their brands. It doesn’t mean that Luxottica isn’t in on it though, as they charge 20 times more than the normal cost of making these glasses.
All your Music belongs to me!!!
Really annoyed, you put on your headphone and start listening to music. Shuffling constantly between Katy Perry, Kesha, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne and asking us how we can ruin that experience for you.
To which our reply is Lukasz Sebastian, better known as Dr. Luke, who is practically responsible for writing all the hit pop songs of the decade. Heard of top charted songs like Wrecking ball, Roars or Timber? Yep, Dr. Luke did them all.
What about the pop songs of 2014. Yep, it’s Dr. Luke… in fact, chances are that every pop song you hear will come from him or his company. It’s impossible for the industry to work without his songs, as the company has 50+ songwriters to their disposal, making sure that he remains a phenomenon while artists come and go.