The Phoebus cartel was officially a Swiss corporation named Phoebus S.A. Compagnie Industrielle pour le Développement de l'Éclairage. It is a real-world example of a large, long-lasting and effective conspiracy against the public. From late 1924 until 1939, the cartel controlled the manufacture and sale of light bulbs, bringing their life expectancy down from about 2500 hours in common models from the early 1920s, to 1000 hours as a de facto global standard for the rest of the 20th century. More long-lived consumer lighting technology was suppressed to ensure frequent shopping.
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