dfk41 - It’s the capitalist system, Open capitals. Money talks. those companies succeed and those with more money buy them to diversify the portfolio, gain knowledge or simply eat up the competition. It’s the world we live in, like it or not. Not much I can do about it.
I was actually shocked while doing some of this fact finding that Kenwood and Braun are brands owned by DeLonghi. I did not know that.
A lot of the indie coffee shops in the UK, where I live, have La Marzocco machines. Something I have observed, at least around where I live.
Personally speaking, if a shop uses a touch screen and pod machines, I’d simply not give them my business. Ultimately, they need to have a sustainable model and attract a certain clientele. Let’s not forget that we, coffee nerds, are the vast minority rather than the average consumer.