Archive for the ‘Monopoly’ Category

Hey Google, Are You Too Big?   Leave a comment


The Department of Justice has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Google due to their alleged monopoly power over the online search and internet search ad market. The DOJ must prove in this case that Google has created this monopoly in a way that is harmful to consumers. If Google loses the case, this would allow for more competition within the market, even if the effects of this case are not seen right away.

Original Air Date: October 21, 2020

Length: 18 minutes

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Oil Prices   Leave a comment

Oil pricesLink:

Summary: Oil prices have been fluctuating over the years, but when there is a price increase, many people may experience increases in the price of gas, heating, or a flight ticket back home as well. With the volatility of oil prices, what does this mean for determining future prices of oil and will these prices ever stabilize?

Original Air Date: January 19, 2018

Length: 7 minutes 4 seconds

How The Internet Got Ruined   Leave a comment

Chaos Computer Club Annual CongressLink:

Summary: “Move Fast and Break Things” is a newly released book about the monopolistic market structure of the internet.  Marketplace interviews Jonathan Taplin, the author of the book, who is the tour manager for Bob Dylan.  They discuss how the monopoly structure set up by the technology companies has ruined the communal nature of the internet. Also discussed is one silicon valley entrepreneur who left San Francisco for Minneapolis.

Original Air Date: April 19, 2017

Length: 7 minutes 35 seconds

Farmers Hack Their Equipment to Evade Tractor Company Policies   Leave a comment

Statewide Drought Forces Californians To Take Drastic Measures For Water ConversationLink:

Summary: Farmers are hacking into their own tractors in order to fix them, rather than pay for a dealer to fix it for them.  Marketplace introduces this situation and explains why tractor owners aren’t satisfied with this developing market concentration in the repair market and what they hope to do about it. .

Original Air Date: March 27, 2017

Length: 3 minutes 2 seconds

Discussion Question: What impact does forcing tractor owners to go through dealers for repairs do for competition in the market? Who benefits from this system more, the owner or the dealer?

FTC fights against new strategy for delaying generics   Leave a comment

NORWICH, CT - MARCH 23: Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display on March 23, 2016 in Norwich, CT. Communities nationwide are struggling with the unprecidented opioid pain pill and heroin addiction epidemic. On March 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced guidelines for doctors to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers prescribed, in an effort to curb the epidemic. The CDC estimates that most new heroin addicts first became hooked on prescription pain medication before graduating to heroin, which is stronger and cheaper. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


Summary: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought an important case against ‘pay-for-delay schemes’, seeking to show that non-monetary deals between pharmaceutical companies inhibit the market from functioning properly. More importantly, they seek to demonstrate that these deals are illegal.

Original Air Date: April 1, 2016

Length: 2 minutes 10 seconds

Why Textbook Prices Keep Climbing   Leave a comment


Summary: Something strange is going on in the textbook market. The price has steeply increased over the past decade–and they’re only getting higher. There is a disconnect between the chooser (the professors) and the buyers (the students). Technically, the professor is the consumer, and they’re spending their students’ money. The podcast offers the opposite: high school textbooks, where costs are kept low because the books are paid for by the schools.

Original Air Date: October 3, 2014

Length: 14 minutes 56 seconds

Discussion Question/ Prompt: Propose a solution to the rising textbook price problem. (Example: a price ceiling? professor awareness of prices? incentives for lower prices?)

Why Legos Are So Expensive — And So Popular   Leave a comment


Summary: Why are Legos so popular? How has this toy-construction behemoth survived and out-strategized competitors even after their 1989 patent expiration?

Original Air Date: December 13, 2012

Length: 5 min

Europe Fines Microsoft $613 Million   Leave a comment

free use laptopLink:

Summary: Discusses European Commission’s decision to fine Microsoft for monopolistic practices. The Commission found that Microsoft abused its dominance of the market to force consumers to use their Media Player software.

Length: 3:20 min

Original air date: March 24, 2004

Costs of Prescription Drugs Spike   Leave a comment

pharma patentsLink:

Summary: A look at the markets for prescription and generic drugs in the context of the impending patent expiration of a large portion of pharmaceuticals under the “patent cliff” of 2011. Discusses patents creating monopoly power for brand name drugs and compares that to the market for generics.

Length: 4:24 minutes

Original air date: November 4, 2009

Who Owns the Words That Come Out of Your Mouth?   Leave a comment

freak mouthLink:

Summary: A discussion of the use, intricacies, and reform of copyright law, set in the context of the dedicated use of copyright law by the estate of Winston Churchill. Includes an estimate of the cost per word to use Churchill quotes, and how higher prices per quote of Clementine Churchill result in  a reduction in the use of quotes from his wife. Also includes a discussion of the obstacles to business created by the system of copyright / intellectual property law in Britain.

Original air date: January 17, 2013

Length: 2:21