I could write this in a thousand and one narratives, but tonight is the “merger” narrative. This is because this week two telecom giants merged together. Another merger, indifferent from anybody’s struggle to stop them.
This time 85 billion dollars. Let this number sink in a bit and then try to see the pattern here. You have seen it if you follow the global business news regularly:
- Mergers are getting more and more frequent.
- The acquisition prices get exponentially higher.
- The industries involved get more diverse, which means more aspects of our lives is going under monopoly.
- The rules that used to control and stop the mergers and guarrantee a minimal competition keep getting weaker by corporate lobbyists and bribed politicians.
What do we expect from these dynamics? They will slowly kill the competition and change our norms and habits. The pace of changing our internal habbits like the external environmental changes are not fast enough to be seen by the naked eye. It’s like staring at the hour hand of the clock; A 100x time-lapse can reveal it. Actually that was a while ago. We are talking about undergoing an exponential change so a 10x time-lapse is enough to make it visible for us, what change is happening around, and inside us.
But we are extremely adaptive creatures. We collectively conform to the norms around us and if they change, we change with them. What mergers do with those norms, is that when they get enormous enough to take over a whole industry at a globel scale, they kill the competition and unify the decision making between previously copeting entities. If one of the giants starts poisoning you, the other one will make a scandal out of it. But not if both are controlled behind the same dashboard. Can we comprehend the dangers here?
Megamergers are slowly changing our lifestyles, the food we eat and what it contains, the information we get, the politicians that rule us, everything! They can already predict and influence some of the decisions we collectively make and they won’t let you notice it. They think in statistics and you are just data points in their analysis. It is not even a month passed from Monsanto/Bayer merger that broke the historic world record of acquisitions at an stonning price of $65B, that this one silently came along with $85B. Can we extrapolate such an exponential growth and see what is waiting for us? Should we be suprised in three years witnessing a half a trillion dollars merger between an already merged food/retail company and another giant social network/media multinational corporate?
Let us fast forward this, fellow frogs:
Fighting cancer gets harder when it passes a certain level. Confronting mergers is increasingly harder when they get to such an gigantic size. Still, we may have a chance to bleck them now or regulate them more by antitrust regulators, but if we keep failing and wait longer, there comes a point that we cannot change the irreversible. That day we will see more clearly what is going to happen, but we will not have the power to stop it.
If things go as they are, in the course of decades if not years, the whole civilization as we know it will be acquired by one (not two) multi trillion dollar super-company or the coalition of multinational corpotations. Then their ultimate board does whatever they want with us data points. And they will have the means to do that, because we will be totally numb by then.
Did you actually follow me this far? Most people typically fail to care to this depth since they are already numb.
But you know that I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. Right? When I say “the board” I don’t mean the mysterious bad guys who are sitting and plotting the apocalypse right now. Or whatever Illuminati. Don’t buy into those naive theories. Conspiracy theories, most of them, are for the kind hearts and simple minds.
Nature is not designed. It is organized on its own, based on simple rules. And it repeats the same patterns over and over. Nature is full of collapses and Doomdays and apocalyptic events. Big and small in all scales. These collapses are smaller babies of the big bang, only reversed:
Reversed in the sense that more and more things will happen in shorter and shorter times!
Our apocalypse will have many faces. “The merger” is one of those one thousand and one faces. The merger is a “winner take all” game. It is a race and we are all in it, but we don’t know who will win, however, there will be a winner. And many many losers. No one can predict who eats whom at the end of the game, but that will eventually turn out. And everyone will be surprised.
Even the people who may think they are conspirist themselves. Even those who think they are the bad guys.
There is a power above us all; It’s cancer. It’s nature. It’s evolution.
I haven’t spoiled the movie for you yet, and I guarrantee it will be full of surprises that none of us can foresee.
Good night. Till another night of the 1001 night.