Saturday, October 24, 2020

Anti-trust litigation against social media companies


Brian Fung, of CNN Business (he often writes tech for the Washington Post) argues that Google will predicate its defense of DOJ antitrust litigation with “you” the consumer, that “you” aren’t harmed by higher prices.

Microsoft also argued that in the past.

But DOJ can argue that the Sherman Anti-Trust act prevents harm to competing businesses.  Sounds like a good essay question for a virtual AP History test.

There are competing platforms to YouTube (Twitch, which has real problems as we know, and BitChute). There are competing blogging platforms, and Wordpress is generally considered superior to Blogger.  Google did make it in the social networking business (it shut down Google+).

Tim Wu writes in the NYTimes that Google can’t “buy” its way out of anti-trust.

Facebook could face anti-trust litigation after the election.

The harm to consumers might be their concentrated power which makes them responsive to the radical Left (because of the sympathy of advertisers) with disproportionate deplatformings of right-of-center speakers – which sometimes spreads to financial institutions.  There is also a national security aspect to such concentration of users, attracting foreign influence as on elections.

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