Some humanitarian workers feel that the Gates Foundation's excessive sway has the best scientists “locked up in a cartel”. There is some concern that research priorities for sma ll organizations are distorted because the foundation does not specify areas it will not invest in.
Critics suggest that the foundation's massive spending on malaria research is a classic case of a near-monopoly leading to market failure: in this case, a market in medical prowess. The Gates Foundation has unforeseen effects: “Gates can solve problems with money—but a lot of money leads to a monopoly, and discourages smaller rivals and intellectual competition.”
Some people at the WHO, a Geneva-based arm of the United Nations, openly worry that the foundation is setting up a new power centre that may rival their organisation's authority. Such conspiracy theorists point to the foundation's recent grant of over $100m to the University of Washington to evaluate health treatments and monitor national health systems—jobs supposed to be done by the UN agency.