Are Corporate Mergers Ruining America ?

Jorge Arteaga, Editor

Corporate mergers have become increasingly common in recent years, with companies merging in an effort to explore new markets, increase corporate efficiency, gain access to new technology, and obtain or keep a monopoly position in an industry. Mergers may appear to be beneficial for the economy, but joblessness, increased political influence, negative impacts on our environment, and limited options play a role in these newly formed merged companies.

When multiple businesses merge, a rival is sometimes eliminated from the market, leaving customers with limited options. Lack of competition results in higher costs, lower quality products, and less innovation, as the merged company may have less motivation to develop. Each company had its own employees who were responsible for producing, advertising, evaluating, accounting, and other tasks. There will be redundant workers, meaning employees from both organizations may need to be moved or laid off. This will have an impact on local communities, particularly those that are dependent on a single industry. 

Corporate mergers can also lead to increased political power for the company. A larger company may have greater influence over government policy, allowing it to shape regulations and legislation in its favor. Furthermore, larger corporations have more resources, greater finical resources, and large lobbying budgets, which can be used to influence policymakers and politicians. This can result in an environment that is less favorable to consumers and small businesses. 

Negative impacts on the environment are a cost when companies merge because they start to be more focused on increasing profits than on environmental sustainability, leading to increased pollution and other environmental harms. Attempts at cost-saving strategies and increased efficiency can lead to cutbacks in environmental regulations, such as reducing the number of environmental audits or funds for environmental research. Merging results in the consolidation of supply chains, leading to longer and more complex supply chains that can increase transportation-related emissions.

Even with these negative consequences, corporate mergers continue to be pursued by money-hungry companies seeking to increase their profits and market share. Policymakers must take a more critical approach to mergers, ensuring that they do not lead to reduced competition, job losses, or negative environmental impacts.