The beef-packing industry is more powerful and consolidated now than it was a century ago when Congress enacted the Packers & Stockyards Act to break up the beef monopolies. Beef packing is the most concentrated industry in the meat and poultry sector. Meatpackers have merged into a few dominant players that slaughter and market almost all of the beef products in the United States. Today, just four firms slaughter more than four out of five beef cattle. This concentration gives large packers tremendous leverage over independent cattle producers. The beef-packing industry has also expanded beyond slaughter and processing and now large packers own their own cattle and operate feedlots, thus controlling supply through all stages of production. These practices enable the meatpackers to drive down cattle prices while keeping consumer beef prices high.