It's surprising that tax law isn't mentioned here. I can't imagine that our tax landscape doesn't directly affect how corporations decide to divvy up their revenues. As St. Milton liked to point out, if you want more of something, tax it less, and if you want less of something, tax it more. Well, payroll taxes have increased, and corporate taxes have decreased starting with, I don't know, Ronald Reagan (or exactly when productivity and wages lose their correlation). The new corporate tax law will accelerate this behavior, because it does nothing to incentivize companies to pay people more, and does a lot to incentivize them to buy back stocks and pay dividends. Monopolization may be the proximate player here, but I don't think you'd see so many M&A's if our tax system didn't encourage that behavior, also.