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The Worst Company In America?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009 | 11:49 AM ET
Aig Headquarters
Aig Headquarters

Is AIG worse than Ticketmaster? Bank of America worse than Comcast?

Call them Bad Company, the Final Four.

All are nominated for the Worst Company in America by Consumerist.com, Consumerist.com, owned by the same people who publish Consumer Reports, is calling this year's contest "bailouts versus the monopolies!"

In a very unscientific poll, readers are voting this week on which of the four should wear the tarnished crown of being the worst of the worst. Voting on AIG versus Ticketmaster was taking place Monday. Talk about apples and oranges. Seems a bit like comparing Darfur to "The Real Housewives of Orange County".

When I last checked, AIG was ahead, but not by nearly the margin I expected for a company which nearly took down the US economy. Tuesday's voting will be between BofA and Comcast. In other words, the recipient of billions in TARP funds compared to a cable company. Or a bank where the stock has dropped more than 70 percent in a year to a business where shares are down 24 percent.

The final two face off Thursday and the winner is announced Friday. Last year's winner was Countrywide, now part of 2009 nominee Bank of America!

The original 32 contestants for 2009 included StarbucksPeanut Corp of America, Verizon, Walmart, General Motors, General Electric, and Apple - what did Apple do? And why is GM out of the final four but Ticketmaster is in?

"Ticketmaster and Comcast drew the ire of voters because they were viewed as monopolies that consumers were forced to deal with," says Consumerist's Meghann Marco. There are many ways to measure rage out there, and Consumerist is hoping to capture the breadth and depth of it.

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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