Most companies aim to get bigger. But beyond a certain point, bigness becomes synonymous with badness. Think of Big Pharma, Big Auto, Big Oil.
Worse, if you are regularly described as one of the Big Four, Five or Six in any business sector, you are probably already in the sights of regulators and lawmakers.
This demonisation of corporate girth is nothing new. I can’t find a source for this image – which Marc Gunther uses to illustrate a blogpost about the growing power of US big business – but I’d say it dates from the first half of the last century, and there are plenty more where it comes from. Read more
Li Ka-shing’s interest in the British utilities company Northumbrian Water has set off a predictable ripple of nationalism.
Local politicians have started to air their fears that a takeover by Cheung Kong Infrastructure, controlled by the Hong Kong tycoon, would put local jobs at risk. But it would be odd and inconsistent if anybody in authority acted on those fears to impede the bid. Read more