One of the problems with big American businesses is that there’s very little antitrust enforcement, so we have a lot of industries where two or three companies dominate the market. (this is an issue that Elizabeth Warren is passionate about) I’m trying to change my habits to try to avoid patronizing the biggest of the big companies when I can.
This is more of a way for me to feel better about where my money is going than a way to actually change things – I want the government to step in to break up/prevent monopolies and oligopolies! But it’s better than doing nothing…
Amazon -> Target – Especially now that we have two young kids, we’ve starting ordering more and more household-type items online. We’ve mostly bought from Amazon for these things, but it turns out Target has a lot of the stuff we need. Target is, you know, also a giant company, but I still feel like it’s a little better to buy from them when we can?
Amazon -> Barnes & Noble – David and I read a ton of e-books, and while I wasn’t super-early on the Kindle train, but *looks back at Amazon history* I’ve had one since 2010. For a while I was sad about being locked in to the Kindle ecosystem, but it took me a while to realize – I never use my Kindle hardware anymore, I just read on my phone! So I’ve started to buy Nook books instead. Again, Barnes & Noble is also pretty big, but I’m sure they’re smaller than Amazon in the e-book market so that’s something. (are there smaller e-book companies that are viable?)
Google -> Bing – This one was easy – I use Bing for my default searches now. You may laugh at me, but honestly it’s only one out of every 10 or 15 searches I have to try Google as well. (usually programming-type searches) I’m a Microsoft fanboy so I’ve been doing this for a while now. I still do use Gmail, though.
AT&T -> T-Mobile – This is a little tricker, especially now that T-Mobile is trying to merge with Sprint. But even if they do merge they would still be clearly in third place behind AT&T and Verizon, and the AT&T and Time Warner merger will create a monstrosity. I’m not thrilled about T-Mobile spending a bunch of money at the Trump hotel to try to curry favor with the government, but I do like their whole Un-carrier campaign. (especially since now they include taxes and fees in their plan prices!) We do still have AT&T internet service at home because we have fiber to the home and it is much faster than the competition.