Break Them Up! Break Them Up!

Google has been sued for using their influence on the web…..

The Justice Department is expected to file a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Google has been abusing its online dominance in online search to stifle competition and harm consumers, per the AP. The Washington Post also has the story, saying it “could have vast implications not only for Google but the entirety of a tech industry that has faced new, unprecedented scrutiny in recent years for the unrivaled power, money and data it has amassed.” The litigation marks the government’s most significant act to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago. The suit could be an opening salvo ahead of other major government antitrust actions, given ongoing investigations of major tech companies including Apple, Amazon, and Facebook at both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

Lawmakers and consumer advocates have long accused Google, whose corporate parent Alphabet Inc. has a market value just over $1 trillion, of abusing its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and boost its profits. Critics contend that multibillion-dollar fines and mandated changes in Google’s practices imposed by European regulators in recent years weren’t severe enough and that structural changes are needed for Google to change its conduct. The case is expected to be filed in federal court in DC, and will also allege that Google uses billions collected from advertisers to pay phone manufacturers to ensure Google is the default search engine on browsers.

The next question should be…just how does Google’s monopoly hurt you?

I am glad you asked…..

Let’s Google together. Open a Web browser and search for T-shirts. I’ll wait.

Is the first thing you see a search result? I’m not talking about the stuff labeled Ads or Maps. On my screen, the actual result is not in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or even eighth row of stuff. It’s buried on row nine.

Googling didn’t used to require so much . . . scrolling. On some searches, it’s like Where’s Waldo but for information.

Without us even realizing it, the internet’s most-used website has been getting worse. On too many queries, Google is more interested in making search lucrative than a better product for us.

https://www.thehour.com/business/article/How-does-Google-s-monopoly-hurt-you-Try-these-15657855.php

That question has been answered,,,the next is….what to do?  What to do?

I say treat them as we did AT&T in the 1980s…..

How many remember the days when AT&T was broken up?

Are you scratching your head?

If so then you are too young to remember that break-up of AT&T under the Reagan administration…..let Wikipedia fill in the gaps for you….

The breakup of the Bell System was mandated on January 8, 1982, by an agreed consent decree providing that AT&T Corporation would, as had been initially proposed by AT&T, relinquish control of the Bell Operating Companies that had provided local telephone service in the United States and Canada up until that point.[1] This effectively took the monopoly that was the Bell System and split it into entirely separate companies that would continue to provide telephone service. AT&T would continue to be a provider of long-distance service, while the now-independent Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs), nicknamed the ‘Baby Bells’, would provide local service, and would no longer be directly supplied with equipment from AT&T subsidiary Western Electric.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakup_of_the_Bell_System

I bring up this bit of history because there is a plan afoot to try and break up the mega-corporations…..

The Democratic Party-controlled House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee released its report on big tech last Tuesday concluding a 16-month investigation into the business practices of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google.

The 449-page majority report, entitled, “Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets,” states in the foreword that the four corporations worth a combined $5 trillion—more than a third of the S&P 100—wield their market dominance “in ways that erode entrepreneurship, degrade Americans’ privacy online, and undermine the vibrancy of the free and diverse press.”

The House Judiciary subcommittee chair, Democrat David Cicilline from Rhode Island, wrote in the forward, “To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.”

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/13/tech-o13.html

Did you see this bit of news on your favorite channel?

I am guessing you did not….another way the MSM is used to keep the public in the dark on what is actually happening.

I agree that they should be broken up but I also fear that this plan could create even bigger and more powerful corporations.

What makes me think that?

AT&T dominated the telephone market for most of the 20th century. The company was so big, it was forced to break up into eight smaller companies in 1984. Today, almost all of those companies are once again part of AT&T, along with cellular carriers and cable providers. Here’s how the company grew so big that the government broke it up — only to see it become even bigger. Following is a transcript of the video.

https://www.businessinsider.com/att-breakup-1982-directv-bell-system-2018-02

This plan may not be in the best interest of the nation….especially when Dems are concerned for they are just as deep into the pockets of corporations as the GOP.

Vox also looks at the way to deal with the mega-corporations….

Much of the debate has focused on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and, most recently, a Trump administration initiative to get the Federal Communications Commission to modify the law. As my colleague Sara Morrison explains, they can’t really do that. The Section 230 debate, however, has been awash in misunderstanding and misinformation, with lots of hectoring about an alleged (but fake) legal distinction between a “platform” and a “publisher.”

What the law actually says is that if I run a computer service and you use it to libel someone, then you are legally responsible for the libel but I am not. At one point in the early internet, there was concern that if a company edited or moderated its comments sections in any way, that would expose the company to legal liability for anything it failed to remove. Section 230 sought to encourage moderation (there’s no porn on Instagram, for example) by clarifying that this is not the case.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the House have been pushing for antitrust scrutiny of big tech companies, something Republicans have at least rhetorically backed from time to time.

https://www.vox.com/21520568/social-media-phone-company-big-three

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

6 thoughts on “Break Them Up! Break Them Up!

  1. Had AT&T at the time. Because it had so much of the market cornered and generated so much wealth it could afford to grant additional services for this or that free or at very low price. After break up bill went up as they now had to charge for these services as their total income was reduced due to break up. All the other companies raised prices too so the idea that competition would reduce consumer prices actually backfired.

  2. The first 6 Google hits for T-shirts were ‘sponsored’ ads. But the chances are I would have used at least two of those companies to buy them anyway. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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