Price discrimination is the practice of charging one customer more than another for the same goods and services. For decades, Americans have recognized the need to ban price discrimination that threatens equal opportunity, or that concentrates dangerous amounts of wealth and power. Americans have been especially vigilant about outlawing price discrimination by monopolies and other corporations that dominate all or most of a particular line of business, such as railroads and giant retailers. To go to our Price Discrimination page, click here.
Many large corporations stand between the farmer and the eater. Among the most powerful are the corporations that “process” food by turning raw ingredients into the products the consumer eats. Many of the best-known food processors – including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Kraft Heinz, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Grupo Bimbo – dominate entire markets. Each of these companies has built or bolstered its dominant position through mergers and acquisitions. Apart from the occasional divestiture, large food and beverage companies have largely been allowed to expand as swiftly as they want, with little antitrust scrutiny. To go to our Food Processors page, click here.
Consolidation in the grocery retail sector directly affects not only consumers but also farmers and other producers of consumer goods. Power in this sector is increasingly concentrated in just a few companies. In 2012, over 50% of American retail food spending went to the four largest retailers: Walmart, Target, Kroger’s, and Safeway (which was itself purchased by Albertson’s in 2014). Walmart alone was responsible for almost a third of food sales that year. To go to our Retailers page, click here.