Monopolies shaping up in some sectors

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Monopolies shaping up in some sectors

A few top-performing companies in industries such as refineries, automobiles and electronics have tightened their grip on their respective markets, the antitrust watchdog said yesterday, indicating that rivals may face a more monopolized business environment.

The “industrial concentration” level of the top three companies in mining and manufacturing areas stood at 45 percent in 2009, down 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier. When adjusted to market size, the figure inched up 0.1 percentage point to 55.4 percent, the Fair Trade Commission said in a report.

The findings are based on the analysis of industrial structures. The concentration level represents the combined market shares of the top three companies.

“The latest report indicates that the domination of conglomerates has deepened in such areas as refineries, automobiles and electronics, which all huge markets,” the FTC said.

The tobacco, beer, sugar, whiskey and coffee industries were also cited as areas where market dominance by a few players was strong, according to the report.

The number of “monopolized” industries declined from 46 to 43 over the cited period, the report showed.

Monopolized industries are markets where the top three players command a combined market share of 75 percent or higher, or where a single company holds 50 percent or higher.

The FTC said it will strengthen its monitoring of such industries to prevent any abuse of power by a few dominant businesses and to stave off possible anticompetition activities.

In the service sector, the industrial concentration level of the top three businesses, stood at 16.3 percent.


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