Before you contemplate United States of America vs. the Bowl Championship Series, imagine for a moment that only 11 American companies produce ice cream. Six of the companies earn the bulk of the revenue — either because they’ve been around the longest, because they gobbled up the most lucrative mom-and-pop shops or because they simply make the best product. Five other companies also produce ice cream. On occasion, a subsidiary of the smaller five produces some of the nation’s best ice cream. Sometimes, the six big companies contract with the five to produce ice cream for lucrative, one-off events, but most of the time, the companies keep to themselves.
Now imagine the six richest companies got together and decided to fix the price of ice cream. In return, they would split the revenue from the January sales of ice cream evenly. The other five would be welcome to join the consortium, but they would have to take a significantly smaller percentage of the revenue.