Archive for the ‘Oligopoly’ Category

Utility companies to stockpile $8 million spare parts in case of disaster   Leave a comment


Summary: Several major utility companies are pooling their resources to create a company called Grid Assurance. Grid Assurance is designed to stockpile repair parts to protect against the chances of a grid disaster.

Original Air Date: April , 2016

Length: 2 minutes 6 seconds

Justice Department Investigates Airlines For Possible Price Collusion   Leave a comment


Summary: The Justice Department is planning to investigate 4 major airlines for price collusion. Investigators will question whether the airlines restricted supply to maintain higher ticket prices.

Original Air Date: July 2, 2015

Length: 3 minutes 35 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?)

Rocky Pipkin, Private Eye Vs. The Raisin Outlaw   Leave a comment


Summary: Describes the raisin industry in the United States and how historic events resulted in a government sanctioned raisin cartel.  Includes discussion of one producer breaking from the cartel, efforts by the cartel to enforce its collective actions, and other political and economic impacts of this defection. 

Length: 21:51 min

Original air date: August 9, 2013

Posted August 12, 2013 by audioecon in Government, Oligopoly, Planet Money, Regulation

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Chip Maker AMD Sues Industry Leader Intel.   Leave a comment

microchip free useLink:

Summary: Discusses case between Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel over Intel’s alleged coercive behavior in the market for computer chips.  Intel has market dominance in the computer processor market.

Length: 1:58 min

Original air date: June 29, 2005

The Price of Things We Love   2 comments


Summary: Three short features highlight: (1) the impact on the publishing industry of the shift toward e-books; (2) why legos remain so popular and so expensive; and (3) the technological development and potential market implications of 3D printers.

Original air date: January 11, 2013

Length: 15:15

The ‘Nasty, Rotten’ Airline Business   3 comments

1960s image of pan-am airlines


Summary: In the context of the 2011 bankruptcy declaration by American Airlines, a discussion of the factors driving bankruptcies in the airline industry.

Original Air Date: December 9, 2011

Length 16:56

Main story content begins: 3:24

Posted June 27, 2012 by audioecon in Oligopoly, Planet Money, Production costs