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HOT TOPIC Elizabeth Warren: Break up Big Tech

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Roli

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My 2 cents.

Monopolies are fine if they have been dictated by the market, as @ChrisV so beautifully puts above :)

However when it gets to the point whereby the monopoly is crushing the free market and competition, then that's about as uncapitalistic (not a real word, don't care) as you can get.

For instance in the 1970s British Airways colluded with a couple of other airlines to squeeze out Freddie Laker's Laker Airlines whom offered low cost flights from the UK to the US. They used their dominance in the market to fix prices so low, at the same time keeping fuel artificially high.

Twenty five or so years later Laker was compensated, yet they were up to their old tricks again, this time trying to squeeze out Virgin.

In my mind these types of monopolies are poison, because it is the service and product providers who determine the size, scope and needs of the market, leaving us the consumer with no choice at all.

So if that's what big tech are doing, F*ck 'em I say. If not, leave 'em alone.
 

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404profound

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It would be the same, if not, better.

According to Facebook, TMF is a get rich quick scam and I cannot advertise it there. (And I never did.) Maybe if it was called "The Index-Fund Millionaire" it would be approved no questions asked.
Pussies will protect their own
 

ChrisV

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My 2 cents.

Monopolies are fine if they have been dictated by the market, as @ChrisV so beautifully puts above :)

However when it gets to the point whereby the monopoly is crushing the free market and competition, then that's about as uncapitalistic (not a real word, don't care) as you can get.

For instance in the 1970s British Airways colluded with a couple of other airlines to squeeze out Freddie Laker's Laker Airlines whom offered low cost flights from the UK to the US. They used their dominance in the market to fix prices so low, at the same time keeping fuel artificially high.

Twenty five or so years later Laker was compensated, yet they were up to their old tricks again, this time trying to squeeze out Virgin.

In my mind these types of monopolies are poison, because it is the service and product providers who determine the size, scope and needs of the market, leaving us the consumer with no choice at all.

So if that's what big tech are doing, F*ck 'em I say. If not, leave 'em alone.
I think we've been conditioned since we were kids to just believe monopolies are bad. I remember in like... 5th grade Social Studies class learning that monopolies are bad. Why? Because they're just bad. Stop asking questions.

If it's something that is disruptive and using immoral means, then sure, but I get no indication that the case with Amazon and Google. But let's see what happens. It's just an investigation. The Microsoft antitrust case ended up being completely ridiculous and because they wouldn't let users uninstall Internet Explorer (lmao.)
 

MTEE1985

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F*ck off Warren
That worked for them last time because she just throws a bunch of proverbial shit at the wall to see what sticks. Interesting this time is that AG Barr is said to be spearheading the probe so there should(might? Probably won’t?) be logic attached.

What’s worrisome to me is a line from the WSJ article about the review. “There is no defined end goal yet for the review other than to understand whether there are antitrust problems that need addressing”

So essentially it’s a review to determine if a review is needed. Sounds perfectly inefficient.

So we want big business here but don’t get too big? By the way, need we remind people that: Google is free. Facebook is free. Amazon is the cheapest and most convenient. Apple is well, Apple. And they all have competition/alternatives. Yes, I understand you pay with your data but nobody had a gun to your head to use google instead of duck duck go.

Amazon employs 250,000 people, Google 100,000, Apple 50,000, Facebook 35,000. This is just direct employees in the US. Does not account for the companies that manufacture for them or the millions of people like @Andy Black who have created a business leveraging one of these platforms. Throw in Amazon FBA, FB ads and the App Store and there are likely tens of millions of people who are making a living due to these 4 companies alone.

I’m just not seeing the net benefit to the world by constantly attacking them.

Edit: tagged you by name Andy because I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
 
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AceVentures

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I heard Mark Cuban make an interesting comment on the topic - in China today, for example, government policy supports a large funding towards R&D of AI. With AI at it's infancy, and with a potential to reframe every aspect of business, more funding should be allocated towards AI. In America, that's done through the large tech companies. If you break them up and make it harder to compete, you could be consequentially eating away at R&D funding that can prove pivotal to economic growth on a global scale.
 

Kak

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I thought this was fitting for discussion...

Now at first sight, most people will be appalled that they would dare ban books of certain viewpoints... but what do actions like these do? It is exactly like my Racist Joe example. If you're an a**hole, people aren't going to want to do business with you... If they don't want to do business with you they will accept the first viable alternative.

I believe that Amazon has the right to sell whatever products they want to sell and ban whatever products they want to ban. It is after all a private sector company. Just as I believe Joe should have the right to only hire Nordic people if he so desires.

That said, Amazon is playing a dangerous game. They are going to create a market void that exposes them to competition. A vacuum where an alternative company is free to seize that opportunity and offer the books people are looking for.

No matter how left wing libertine the world gets, we are still probably not going to be OK with banning books and censorship. People will just get them somewhere else, because they still can and Amazon isn't a monopoly.
 

Justice Beaver

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I could see it being beneficial in specific cases (such as breaking up Facebook from owning both Whatsapp and Instagram), but overall I'm not a fan. Particularly because it does nothing to solve the fundamental issues, which are the fact that these apps are causing record levels of depression, anxiety, and isolationist tendencies, especially among younger people. This makes sense that they're designed to fire off your dopamine receptors as much as possible and keep people addicted, since the incentives are tied to their quarterly earnings. I'm also generally not a fan of big government either, but something needs to be done and looked into about the way these apps are designed to balance out the negative effects of the engagement and interactivity. Breaking up big tech does absolutely nothing to solve this.

Sure Warren's "got a plan for that", but we seriously need to start considering if the plan makes logical sense. And I don't mean logical as in "is it feasible". People were laughing at the feasibility of FDR's New Deal before that was implemented, and look at how much good that did.
 

Rwill

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Fundamentally I'm for the break up.
AT&T sat on pagers, wireless technology and other ideas simply because it had the monopoly in telecommunications. Why waste money on r&d?
After they were broken up we saw almost all of the subsequent companies reach valuations greater than the original company while we also saw a boom in technology.
Right now the big tech companies are crushing or buying their competition, stifling the market. Facebook sucks, but everytime someone starts a Instagram, they buy them.

A good example is YouTube/Google. A website called collage humor used to have videos on its website that it sold advertising on. Once Google bought YouTube, it directed people to view its videos on YouTube rather than the site to drive revenue on its site rather than collage humor's. Collage humor focused more on its YouTube channel but became subject then to their rules.

Lets not forget that Google would have been crushed in its crib by Microsoft if not for the anti trust lawsuit that backed Microsoft off of pushing explorer and bing.

I encourage anyone interested in this podcast on the topic, it's from a business perspective so it's not some socialist rag either.

 

Rwill

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Another way of looking at it is that we don't trust government involvement, and rightly so. But these companies have become the defacto governments of the internet, they have become so large that they dictate the rules of engagement now, or who even gets to participate.
We shouldn't destroy them or handicap them, but restore the democratization of the internet.
Besides, if Facebook is forced to sell off Instagram, or if Google sells off YouTube, the share holders will make billions. Could you even imagine the evaluations of those companies now?
 

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