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  • Monopolies. These are companies which have grown so large that their dominating influence on the market pushes out competition from smaller rivals.


  • Monopolies can often harm the prospects for new businesses and force customers to pay higher prices.


  • And that’s bad for any country.


  • America, and many other nations, have fair competition laws that ban monopolies.

    與許多國家一樣 ,美國訂有禁止壟斷行為並鼓勵公平競爭的法律。

  • Yet, as mega corporations seem to get bigger and bigger, you have to wonder, where is the distinction?


  • Are megacorporations becoming monopolies?


  • Were going to explore a few of America’s largest companies.


  • Just to be clear, these companies are not officially considered monopolies, although they have come under scrutiny by the government for encroaching on fair market competition.


  • First let’s talk about Google, a company that made nearly $70 billion dollars last year.

    首先談談 Google。這間公司去年賺進約 700 億美元。

  • It owns companies like YouTube, Android, and Waze. But it’s had numerous run-ins with the Federal Trade Commission.

    它旗下擁有 YouTube、Android 系統與 Waze 導航程式。但它曾與聯邦貿易委員會 (FTC) 交手多次。

  • Recently, a leaked FTC report from 2013 revealed just how close the FTC was to bringing charges.

    最近流出的一份 FTC 於 2013 撰寫的報告透漏了 FTC 當時差點就要對 Google 提出控訴。

  • Google was accused of illegal practices like promoting its own affiliate websites in google search results and restricting advertisersabilities to use other search engines.

    Google 遭控的非法作為包括搜索結果大力宣傳旗下網站,以及限制廣告商使用其他搜索引擎。

  • The report said, Google’s conduct resulted in "real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets."

    報告指稱,Google 的一切作為「對消費者、網路搜尋創新能力與廣告市場帶來了實質上的傷害。」

  • However, Google ended up settling with the FTC out of court.

    然而,Google 最後卻與 FTC 在庭外和解了。

  • Monsanto is another huge company that’s been accused of monopolistic practices.


  • They have patents on genetically modified seeds.


  • Farmers are forced to purchase seeds every year instead of replanting, to avoid patent infringement.


  • Monsanto remains the leading supplier of GM seeds, along with other agricultural products such as the weed killer RoundUp, and a number of farming tech firms.


  • According to Food and Water Watch, in America, 80% of corn and 93% of soybeans are grown from Monsanto GMO seeds.

    根據食品與飲水觀察組織,在美國約有 80% 玉米與 93% 大豆皆出自孟山都的基改種子。

  • Then there’s Microsoft, a company that made almost 90 billion dollars last year.

    接下來談談 Microsoft 這間公司。它在去年賺進約 900 億美元。

  • They own brands like Windows, Xbox, Hotmail, and Bing.

    旗下擁有 Windows、Xbox、Hotmail 與 Bing。

  • In the ‘90s, the huge corporation barely escaped being split in two by an antitrust lawsuit brought against them by the government.

    在 90 年代,該公司差點因政府提起的反托拉斯訴訟而被迫分拆成兩半。

  • The lawsuit alleged that Microsoft promoted their own web browser on the Windows operating system and shut out competitors.

    Microsoft 遭控在 Windows 作業系統宣傳自家網路瀏覽器,並封殺其他競爭對手。

  • In 1999, a judge did find that Microsoft "maintained its monopoly power by anticompetitive means."

    1999 年,一名法官查有實證,發現 Microsoft「靠著反競爭手段維持壟斷能力」。

  • However, this verdict was later overturned.


  • How do some of these gigantic companies escape antitrust regulation?


  • Well, many of the subsidiary brands within the parent company occupy separate markets, as delineated by the FTC.

    如 FTC 所述,他們靠著在母公司旗下建立子公司來鎖定不同客層。

  • For instance, another corporate giant, Unilever, owns brands in different niche markets, like "ice cream", "premium ice cream" and "super premium ice cream".

    像是另一間企業巨擘聯合利華 (Unilever) 便針對不同消費者推出專屬品牌,像是「冰淇淋」、「尊貴冰淇淋」與「超級至尊冰淇淋」不同市場區隔。

  • Also, the mega-corporations have a huge amount of financial and lobbying power.


  • For example, Google was the fifth largest political lobbyist in 2013.

    舉例來說,Google 在 2013 年名列第五大政治遊說團體。

  • And Monsanto has spent almost $70 million dollars since 1998 on agricultural lobbying.

    而孟山都自 1998 年來,已在農業遊說上花費了近 700 億美元。

  • Clearly, these giant companies have major influence in their respective markets.


  • And even if they aren’t technically violating antitrust laws yet, they are right on the cusp of what is considered a monopoly.


  • In order to regulate against monopolies, the government has developed what are called antitrust laws.

    為了防止壟斷, 政府擬定了「反托拉斯法」。

  • To learn how these laws work, check out our video here.


  • They were called trusts back then, but now we call them monopolies.


  • Monopolies can force consumers to pay higher prices, and make it impossible for other companies to enter the market.


  • Because of their size, they can hurt the economy, and even skirt government regulations.


  • For more TestTube every day of the week, please hit subscribe now. Thanks for staying with us.

    想看更多 TestTube 影片的話,請記得立即訂閱。感謝收看。

Monopolies. These are companies which have grown so large that their dominating influence on the market pushes out competition from smaller rivals.


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