In looking through old catalogs of printing supplies, I kept seeing this declaration:
We are not part of the Type Trust!
What was the Type Trust? From a book listing all the known trusts,
How did it break?
Classic LBO tactics, same as now. Pick up a mortgage on part of the company, force payment, refuse payment when offered, claim the whole company.
We do not want your money, we want your business.
The book includes the Type Trust among ‘lesser industrial trusts’, which were plentiful and covered every conceivable trade. The author is realistic:
Men rail against a vague thing which they call monopoly and yet they do not usually know the real signification or meaning of the term. Many of those who do a large part of the agitating against monopoly are really its greatest beneficiaries. Nearly all of us are monopoly-seekers in one form or another; we are all seeking for benefits or advantages. It is human nature to do so, for men naturally seek to gratify their desires with the minimum of effort, and when they can make any sort of a short-cut, the chances are they will do it. This is one of the fundamental tendencies of civilization, and any sentiment or agitation which does not reckon with this natural tendency will prove both futile and ineffective. Such laws as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act prove little more than toys in the face of these natural tendencies; a fact which is proven by the experience of our anti-trust legislation of the past twenty years.
Natural monopoly is another name for finding your niche and defending it.
The author clarifies the difference between predatory and natural monopolies, which is still confused and conflated by anti-monopolists. In the modern world, Google has a natural monopoly on search, acquired by simply doing the job better than Yahoo or Lycos or Bing. Amazon and Uber are predatory monopolies, acquired by deliberately losing their own profits to drive out competitors.