If manufacturers started buying up their suppliers….

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This excellent article from The Economist about vertical integration got me thinking that if, say, auto makers start buying up parts suppliers in developed markets (in developing markets the plastics processing industry is too fragmented) we could end up facing a whole new set of industry dynamics.

Buying up your supplier, or at least offering them strategic advice and financing in the way that Toyota does, could end the days of the poor and relatively small converter squeezed between the big petrochemical producers and the giant finished-goods manufacturers. Resin producers might suddenly find themselves facing heavy rather than lightweight opponents.

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