ON MONDAY, THE Open Markets Institute released new evidence of increased corporate concentration in 32 different industries, from cellphone providers (where four firms control 98 percent of the market) to peanut butter (four firms control 92 percent). The data, which has gone uncollected by the federal government since President Ronald Reagan’s Federal Trade Commission stopped the practice in 1981, came from a private industry analyst called IBISWorld.
Open Markets intended to publicize the data to show the enormity of America’s monopoly problem. But never-before-seen polling obtained by The Intercept suggests that the public already knows about, and is gravely concerned by, the concentration of economic power in fewer and fewer hands.
According to the survey, conducted in September by Public Policy Polling, 76 percent of respondents were either somewhat or very concerned that “big corporations have too much power over your family and your community.” The figure grew when asked whether big corporations have too much power over politicians: a stunning 88 percent were at least somewhat concerned, with 71 percent very concerned.
The poll finds more concern with the power and influence of major corporations than annual Gallup polls on the subject, which over the past few years have registered between 58 and 64 percent dissatisfaction.