Using inflation as an excuse,
corporations like Amazon and JBS are choosing to raise prices to increase their profit margins. And these corporations hold enough market power to raise prices without fear of losing customers to other competitors.
This is a big reason why families and small businesses see the costs of everyday items go up. And experts say it’s squeezing small businesses and hampering efforts to rebuild our economy.
While working families are paying more for goods and services, corporations are enjoying record-breaking profit margins. The Department of Commerce reported in December 2021 that corporate profit margins had hit the highest level in 70 years.
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JBS Settles for Conspiring to Limit U.S. Beef Supply and Inflate Prices
JBS, a meatpacking corporation with a pork plant in Worthington, Minnesota, is part of a small group of meatpacking corporations that controls 80% of meat production in the U.S.
In 2020, WCCO reported that JBS was accused of conspiring to artificially increase the price of beef to boost its profits. In February of this year, Reuters reported that JBS agreed to settle for $52.5 million for plotting to limit supply in the U.S. beef market to inflate prices.
Amazon Announces Record Profits, Still Increases the Price of Prime Membership
Amazon announced $33.36 billion in profits in 2021, a 75% increase from 2020. However, despite bringing in record profits, Amazon announced it was increasing its annual Prime membership cost by $20, a 16.8% price hike. BBC News reported that over 200 million people would be affected by the rising product costs.
The Associated Press also reported Amazon was one of the only retailers that gained profits amid the COVID-19 pandemic.