I think we all benefit by vigorous competition. I seem to remember many dot coms starting out in garages.
Yep, and AIDS used to start out as a pleasant interlude too, or so I'm told.
Vigorous competition is fine as long as it's played on that level playing field; it's the distortions through purchasing power to which I object. There is no moral reason why a multi-national can buy a widget from a factory at a price unobtainable to the small man; competition of scale should be internal
competition of scale, pricing advantages made by the giant through good housekeeping, not by flexing his buying muscle in the face of the maker of said widget. It's nothing short of a mugging in the street and not only manufacturers are mugged, eventually the customers are too. If you knew anything about the fashion industry you'd have seen it happen every month as smaller suppliers were forced to refuse gigantic retailers' terms/conditions and close the door. In Scotland, pretty much the bulk of the knitwear industry was wiped out or moved into non-Scottish hands or had production moved to the Far East. I experienced that first-hand and it cripples. No, it kills. That's basically why I moved out of fashion into calendar production and pin-up photography.
As I've said here before, my local Hasselblad dealer lost his dealership because he couldn't buy
at the prices that the big chains could sell
! So, tell me how the customer gained long-term value from that experience? The shop eventually folded, and now there's no local camera shop anymore. Hands-on experience of something exotic before you buy? Dream on, or live in the metropolis and pray
you strike lucky.