First, Mark Zuckerberg, under pressure from the Feds, announced that he was forming an umbrella company called “Meta” to oversee Facebook and his other holdings. Then, it was General Electric, “33rd largest firm in the U.S. by gross revenues,” according to Wikipedia, which announced it was breaking up into several smaller companies. And now comes news that Johnson & Johnson, on the heels of huge Covid profits, “$502 million in global sales (from) its COVID-19 vaccine in the most recent quarter” says the NY Post – is splitting into two companies to “separate its pharmaceutical side from its consumer products.” I thought pharmaceuticals are consumer products, but they’d know better than I do.
These companies all making similar moves to split up can’t be coincidental, it must be because it’s to their advantage to do so, right? So what’s the advantage? Is it just a tax advantage, or does it go beyond that and into the territory of the federal government being less likely to go after a company that’s smaller on paper, even though it’s part of a much bigger corporation? Image, is everything? Merger madness in reverse without anybody really reversing anything? It just might work?
The fact than a handful of “too big to fail” banks haven’t already done this is a testimonial to just how powerful those same giant banks actually are.
My prediction is that it won’t stop with J&J. There will quite probably be more to follow as the United States, the world for that matter, continues veering toward a future that looks more and more like a real-world version of the movie “Rollerball,” begging for a big, bad trust-buster to come along and restore competition to the marketplace.