Oligopolies and monopolies are important ways of obtaining income without providing a productive service. They produce goods, a productive service. However, they receive additional income by raising prices, and their oligopoly/monopoly profits are distinguished by economists from normal profits and other expenses, which are the returns to productive activity. There are other harmful aspects to large firms as well, pointed out in these articles.
Investigation of generic ‘cartel’ expands to 300 drugs Christopher Rowland Washington Post December 9, 2018
“What started as an antitrust lawsuit brought by states over just two drugs in 2016 has exploded into an investigation of alleged price-fixing involving at least 16 companies and 300 drugs, Joseph Nielsen, an assistant attorney general and antitrust investigator in Connecticut who has been a leading force in the probe, said…’This is most likely the largest cartel in the history of the United States,’ Nielsen said. He cited the volume of drugs in the schemes, that they took place on American soil and the ‘total number of companies involved, and individuals.'”
What these medical journals don’t reveal: top doctors’ ties to industry Charles Ornstein and Katie Thomas New York Times December 8, 2018
Many doctors have failed to report that their research was supported by industry, despite being required to do so, simply hiding potential or actual conflicts of interest from the scientific community, regulators and the general public.
Taxpayers always lose industry’s shell game with Jobs G.M. is the latest example of a company getting incentives based on empty promises. Editorial Board New York Times December 7, 2018
These next two articles describe how hospital consolidation into large chains, typically described as “saving money through the benefits of consolidation” in fact have increased prices in the markets studied, as reduced completion makes it easier to raise prices.
When hospitals merge to save money, patients often pay more Reed Abelson New York Times November 15, 2018
The Price Ain’t Right? Hospital prices and health spending on the privately insured Zack Cooper, Stuart V. Craig, Martin Gaynor, John Van Reenen National Bureau of Economic Research Issued December 2015, updated May 2018.
Across the West powerful firms are becoming even more powerful Patrick Foulis The Economist November 15, 2018