I'm sorry +Randall Mitchell
but your earlier comment just seems like a wordy proclamation that you're a tool and just as good as anyone else.
Probably one of the best examples of a small business becoming absorbed by a big one is Unilever's absorption of Ben and Jerry's. Unilever did it because they couldn't compete with a company that wasn't hemorrhaging money for the sake of posterity and instead were content to simply make a better product than everyone else. If you Wikipedia Ben and Jerry's you learn that the company had a long history of protecting there rights as small business people, so much so that they won a Presidential Award in 1988. In 1988 no one would have considered Ben and Jerry's a "small" company. They had gone to court on more than one occasion against Pillsbury to guard there right to operate with autonomy and healthy competition.
If you look at that sector of the market now there is more competition than there ever was. Why? Because Unilever hoped to capitalize on the brand name and increase profits by marginalizing the actual product in the process. Ben and Jerry's business model never provided for that approach and the attempt has resulted in diminishing returns, which any idiot could have told you would happen. Ben and Jerry's was actually a gatekeeper holding back a flood of culinary innovation, they were the line in the sand, and big business would have been better off giving them more sandbags for the beachhead instead of letting their egos piss their money away. While Unilever bought the company (with some interesting conditions attached) and reserve the right to build it up or run it down. They got so fixated on toppling a hard earned success that they didn't appreciate the long term (not really that long) impact it would have on the consumer atmosphere at large. To put it simply, they water-downed the recipe, cheapened the quality and broadened the margins for competition. They were so busy being shrewd that they forgot that people actually taste the stuff. Now don't get me wrong, their are plenty of products that can suffer the rigors of this approach. But if they turn out to be items that effect any of your senses other than sight, the folly is yours for not having the self respect to know any better. And their's somewhat for being cheap and lazy, actually more lazy then cheap really.
Don't misunderstand, I love business large and small. Product development, innovation, synergy, advertising, salesmanship in general, are all really great. But unfortunately so many great ideas are ruined by dull wits that think that their simplistic outlooks are the entitled keepers of the keys of distinction and value; more unfortunately big industry is in the business of selling things to this dumb-ominators. As a smart consumer you should be driving standards not colluding with its apathy for the sake of hapless posterity.
Big business might be ruining America because they're still run by Americans that simply don't know any better. I'd go into a complex Darwinian rant about healthy competition but I'd lose you and someone would try to turn it into some sort of bootlegged pedantic scripture. Remember the Titanic, people were slated for death for more seats with a view, arrogance let self-righteousness run the show and to alot of people screwing you (as to be certain that they're not getting screwed themselves) is reward enough to be worth sinking you both.