John Oliver calls for crackdown on corporate consolidation

via HBO
via HBO /

John Oliver took to his Emmy winning show Last Week Tonight last night to stick up for small businesses, exposing the issues with corporate consolidation.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy.”

Does that phrase sound familiar? Chances are, you’ve heard it from politicians, both Democrats and Republicans. As John Oliver explains on his new episode of Last Week Tonight, it’s one of the rare things the two sides can actually agree upon.

But if we care so much about small businesses, why have we let corporate consolidation get so much out of control? Before getting into his main story about the troubles with big money mergers, Oliver notes that his parent company Time Warner is set to merge with AT&T, making it “dangerous” for him to do this segment. But just to show that he doesn’t care, he takes several jabs at AT&T, saying they’re #1 “alphabetically, and nothing else.”

Oliver then gets into some of the big problems corporate consolidation can cause. When people have very little recourse but to use the service, they can’t even boycott it to make it better. For example, American Airlines made the news for all the wrong reasons earlier this year by forcibly ejecting a passenger from a plane. Despite the negative press, the company didn’t lose any business. As Oliver points out, that’s likely because, for certain routes, American Airlines is the only possible airline to use.

You can watch the entire segment in the video below.

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Be sure to catch new episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Sunday nights at 11 PM EST on HBO!