Big Tech got big because we stopped enforcing antitrust law (not because tech is intrinsically monopolistic)


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/13/myspace-rip.html


#2

US antitrust law doesn’t care about a lack of competition if there isn’t a clear detriment to consumers. You can be anticompetitive and as long as you aren’t anti-consumer the courts are going to look the other way.


#3

Thank you ronny raygun who got the anti-trust ball rolling. You friggin tripe.


#4

The lack of competition in any industry is detrmental to citizens. How can it not be? I use the term citizens, not consumers. We are citizens of this nation and the world and we deserve to have all the options available to us provided by the market. Is this not how captialism is supposed to work? If a company is locking other companies out from entering into the industry or merging to form a company to ‘monopoloze’ an industry it must be dealt with by Federal anti-trust laws. Set 'em up and knock 'em down!


#5

Wu argues that the reason we got digital monopolies is that we stopped enforcing anti-monopoly rules against digital companies (and then against all kinds of companies).

The deregulatory impulse that started during the Reagan years preceded the rise of the Internet behemoths. However, as you note when FB and Twitter came along regulatory agencies were (and are) still operating on the assumption that a “free” service by definition can’t gouge customers on price. Sooner or later that approach to identifying a monopoly will have to change, which is why I’m glad that people like Wu and yourself (and even some VCs like Roger Mcnamee, an early FB investor) are pushing this updated view of exploitative practises.


#6

Well the fares and routes of airlines were deregulated under Carter… And that is usually looked at as a success, at least for travelers living near major airports. Much lower prices for them, albeit with much lower levels of customer service. People living in smaller cities have to deal with less frequent service, however.


#7

Dismissing the network effect and regulations that explicitly create a barrier to entry like patents and copyrights is a mistake.

The network effect especially means that if you’re going to try to solve this sort of problem with antitrust action, you should do that when one company has double digit market share rather than waiting for the market to get obviously concentrated.


#8

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