Corporate Power

A hand holds a piece of paper in front of a wall that reads Too much market power harms society.

In the course of globalization, transnational corporations have increasingly gained power and influence. For some years now, we have seen that in many sectors there are only a few extremely large and/or powerful companies left.

The ever-increasing market power of some corporations has become a fundamental problem in almost all sectors. Corporations such as Amazon, Bayer or BlackRock not only control goods and capital, but also influence politics and public opinion. They decide on the working conditions of millions of employees. They largely determine which technologies of the future are being developed, with a focus to their profitability instead of on sustainability. Fast and high profits are also in the interests of their shareholders. Due to their market power, they have the opportunity to influence regulation, other companies, producers and customers in many areas. They avoid taxes and usually evade effective controls when it comes to compliance with human rights and labor standards. Companies that have too much market power have long since become a threat to our democracy. Their way of doing business is at odds with the protection of our natural resources.

WEED wants to counteract this development with research and expertise as well as education and information work. Together with other civil society organizations, we are working on the issue in the German initiative to limit corporate power (Initiative Konzernmacht beschränken) and are part of the German anti-trust movement. Not only politicians, but also civil society should include the issue of coporate concentration and monopolies in their work and actively use the existing instruments to limit power. One such instrument is antitrust law. We advocate for more civil society involvement in German and European antitrust policy.

Our Demands

  • Existing antitrust law must be applied more consistently and interpreted more strictly. For example, the unbundling, which has been possible since 2023 regardless of abuse, must now be used to decouple business areas or parts of overly powerful corporations.
  • Company mergers must be monitored more closely and prevented much more frequently in order to stop the trend of a few large companies gaining more and more market power.
  • In cases where corporations control large parts of basic infrastructure, strategies must be developed as to how this infrastructure, or at least part of it, can be used non-commercially and for the common good.
  • Transparency with regard to market power, ownership and company structures, interdependencies and patents.