Measuring market powers of the
past & present

Industry centralization 1955-2020

In examining financial information about the markets of the past, it's difficult to find clear, consistent data that shows who was dominating the market and how, over time. While the Securities and Exchange Commission has been around to examine and prevent market issues since 1934, the priority of recording data consistenly has only been a focus of governmental frameworks in recent years.

The Fortune 500 means of measurement has shifted over time to include new industries, but has kept an archive of their 500 largest companies from 1955 to present day available publicly. In 2020, the list of Fortune 500 companies made up 2/3s of the entire economy alone. So how do we find patterns in this data? In a publicly available data effort, we've mapped the companies in the Fortune 500 archived to relevant sectors and industries to explore the shift of market players over the past 65 years.

See below for how we can examine major market players by revenue and by profit from 1955 to today.

*Information technology and non-tangible markets have been marked in cool colors, while warm colors mark industries which directly affect quality of life or good production.

Current market investigations: The Antitrust 4

In examining the markets over time, we can also look at how major players of today have grown and in what respects their power has shifted over time. The 4 antitrust cases against Apple, Alphabet/Google, Amazon and Facebook are examining ways in which they have potentially abused their marked dominance to the detrement of consumers. We can drill into the Fortune 500 archived to look at the development of these companies, how they relate to each other, and how their revenue and profits compare over time.

Historic vs. Comparative data and Profit vs. Revenue

While revenue and profit have always been factors in how the Fortune 500 is determined, we can see from the revenue of these companies vs the profit of these companies that there is more to take into account to define market dominance. These companies' explosive growth have also made for interesting data points in how they interact with each other. What we can learn from this information is that growth is subject to interactive market relations. Regulators need should be wary of how industries affect other companies within their industry, and the effect that the industry has on the market as a whole.

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