You probably learned in high school that monopolies are bad for consumers; they eliminate the field of competition in the marketplace, leaving people with fewer options and higher prices. Mega-mergers in the food and energy markets are allowing a handful of corporations to dominate market sectors. Their market dominance means that when it comes to influencing public policy, politically powerful companies call the shots. As Elizabeth Warren said in a speech recently, competition is dying—and the accompanying consolidation in sector after sector is a threat to our democracy.
Beyond the corporate quest for market dominance, there is another reason these mergers keep coming at everyone else’s expense: the deals make big money for the powerful banks that wield enormous power over our democracy. One such bank is Credit Suisse.
Here are the three most valuable mergers happening this year: U.S.-based Monsanto is being bought by German corporation Bayer for $64.5 billion; ChemChina is acquiring Swiss seed and pesticide company Syngenta for $46.7 billion; and the Canadian pipeline company Enbridge is attempting to purchase Houston-based Spectra for $43.1 billion.
There is one thing these deals in the works have in common: they are all being advised by Credit Suisse. And that consultation comes at a hefty price: Enbridge and Spectra are expected to pay banks nearly $100 million in advisory fees alone. For the Monsanto-Bayer merger, fees could top $200 million.