Once upon a time, in a land where our leaders tended to have more concern for their constituents then they do now–-though nothing as per their job descriptions in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense–-established the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The purpose of the FTC is/was to curtail potential monopolies causing a lack of competition in various segments.  A lack of competition puts the consumer “between a rock and a hard place” when purchasing their goods and services, especially necessities.


*Four international meat processing facilities control 80% of the total commercial processing in our country;

*The largest grocery chains merging;

*Airlines “joining” forces;

*Exxon-Mobil being bought out;

*There is a publication group that has approximately 300 livestock and livestock-related newspapers and periodicals.  Think of the impact they can have on issues relative to their readers.

One has to wonder if there is “anyone at home” at the FTC or are their offices being used for storage?  I ask this because of all the merging going on, no one ever hears of the FTC doing due diligence on these entities.

The only merger I have heard about that may be of benefit to a group of people, is the news group that is buying up the small newspapers in Montana.  If left to their own, some of these papers would not be able to continue.  I only hope the news group will continue to serve the relatively small towns in Montana by continuing the distinctive, individual papers.

Wally McLane

Billings, Montana


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