Since its founding in 1902 in Point, Texas, Farmers Union has advocated for fair market access for farmers. More than a century later, the organization continues to address profitability issues and monopolistic practices.

Ten companies control most of the food and drinks found in the grocery store. Source: Oxfam

Why competition matters

The rapidly growing power of corporate monopolies is a crisis that drives down wages, increases costs, stifles innovation and competition, and otherwise limits people’s voices in our economy and democracy:

  • Workers: A recent analysis by the Treasury Department found the average workers’ wages are 20 percent lower because of corporate concentration and anticompetitive practices, adding to a growing body of research finding monopoly power leads to lower pay.
  • Farmers: A few giant firms control the inputs and the markets farmers rely upon. As a result of these monopolistic middlemen, farmers have seen their share of every dollar spent on food decline from nearly 50 cents in the 1950s to 14.3 cents today.
  • Small Businesses: The small businesses that are the heart of our communities are being driven out by corporate monopolists. The Twin Cities has seen a 17 percent decline in local retailers since 2004 and Minnesota has lost 30 percent of its independent pharmacies since 2000.
  • Consumers: Prices have increased for everything from healthcare to groceries to gasoline while corporations enjoy record profits. Consolidation makes it easier for firms to increase prices on consumers while padding their bottom line.

What can you do about it?

None of this is inevitable. It is a policy choice.

Minnesota legislators fought back against monopoly power in 2023 by passing a bill cracking down on hospital mergers and providing funding that will help the Attorney General’s Office increase enforcement of the antitrust laws.

There is plenty more that legislators can do, including passing antitrust reforms that rein in abusive conduct by big corporations, prohibiting massive retailers from using their buying power to harm small businesses and increasing penalties for violating antimonopoly laws.

Together Minnesotans can contain the power of corporate monopolies, protect small businesses and put power back in the hands of our local communities.

Learn more

Antitrust Symposium

The Mitchell Hamline Antitrust Society, in collaboration with the Minnesota Farmers Union and the MSBA Antitrust Law Section, hosted an Antitrust Law Symposium.

Watch the symposium

Right to Repair

John Deere tractor

Right to Repair legislation gives farmers the Right to Repair their own equipment.

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Monopolies in Minnesota

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

The growing power of corporate monopolies is driving down wages and stifling innovation.

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Reports & Resources


Reports and resources from MFU and partner organizations.

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Working for a competitive economy