Campbell Brown is Facebook’s head of news partnerships. According to reports from The Australian, Drudge, and the Sun, Brown told a group of media executives down under that they have to “Work with us or end up in hospice.”
Hospice is defined by Google’s dictionary as “providing care for the sick, especially the terminally ill” or dying.
In dramatic damage-control mode, Facebook denies that charge, and says that it was a statement taken out of context.
But what the issue spotlights is the problem of monopolies, or more precisely oligopolies. An oligopoly is defined as “a state of limited competition, in which a market is shared by a small number of producers or sellers.”
For every independent business or hopeful startups, there is a rising tide of mega-corporations that dominate a given industry. While it is more pronounced in manufactured housing that in other industries, there are some similar trends.
Independents – Work With Us Or Die
Rephrased, what these giants are telling independent businesses in that pithy headline from “The Sun” – “Work With Us Or Die.”
It should be chilling to those who believe in free enterprise.
As the Daily Business News recently reported, mainstream media is dominated by some 6 major conglomerates.
In manufactured housing, the concern is being raised that Berkshire Hathaway could have been correcting the record for years on the misconceptions about manufactured homes. Why haven’t they? It puts into question claims by Kevin Clayton, Berkshire Hathaway CEO, and Lesli Gooch, SVP for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).
But the problem isn’t limited to them. Thus part of the solution must be to understand the threat that domination by one or a few is harmful to the free marketplace, and ultimately to workers and consumers.
Facebook and Google, the later whose parent company is Alphabet, have been coming under fire globally. The EU fined Google for anti-trust activity. Congress and others are looking too. While the headlines about Facebook are often tied to “fake news,” perhaps the more important issue is the raw power that these operations have over information.
As manufactured home marketers know, Google and Facebook can make or break your firm. So “shadow banning” and other ways that information is manipulated – or eliminated – by the FANG giants.
And as a multiple award winning retailer told MHProNews, “Tony, no independent can afford to publicly fight 21st.” Agree or disagree with that retailer’s statement, but the thought that you can’t fight Clayton or Berkshire Hathaway is similar to the Sun’s pity headline, “Work With Us Or Die.”
Are independent manufactured home businesses mere vassals or serfs to powerful megacorporations, and the association that those “big boys” dominate? A retailer in the article linked below thinks so.
This is why the industry’s independents arguably must organize and push back in as many ways as they can. See the related report, linked below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)
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