An argument against Big Tech being so big


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These days is because some of these companies are so big they're big in terms of users. See Facebook's two billion, plus big valuation, Amazon and apple have both topped a trillion dollars and big in market share more than ninety percent of all web searches happen on Google. The US is taking baby steps toward possible. Regulation Europe is taking more like Paul Bunyan's is steps, but critics argue these companies should have been slowed down long ago. Tim Wu is a Columbia law. Professor and author of the new book the curse of bigness antitrust in new gilded age. He says tech companies in particular were allowed to grow too. Big too fast. They're kind of like an overgrown baby that's still in its waddling close in its crib being protected from the outside world. They have a series of laws that protect tech industry in ways that other industries aren't protected, and they're also unregulated. Unlike let's say telephone industry or banks and that gives vantage as well. Well, you talk about the failure of regular. Leaders to realize that say Instagram was a competitor to Facebook. And so I wonder how much of that was like you said a lack of a regulatory will and ongoing swatting if he will or if it was actually just a misunderstanding of the technology and the potential I think a little bit of both. So I was in government during the campaigns where Facebook bought up much major competitors. Google bought up, frankly, hundreds of companies, and in government, people didn't understand the technology at all the business model giving stuff away for free competing for attention losing money for many years in order to make money later that all just didn't really compute with a bunch of people who were used to looking for kind of monopoly of the old fashioned, even Microsoft righty where you charged money or standard oil controlling an actual product. So that I think was all sort of confusing the other hand, I do think that this crib effect was still there. So new industry exciting. Thing. You know, they seemed full of really good people. So you know, why not just let them buy up all the rivals. Well, and how does this fit into say the FTC's starting to have conversations about trying to overhaul antitrust regulations for the digital age like is the Sherman act going to cut it? Or are they in fact, just normal old monopolies? I do think what a lot of people are realizing is you don't necessarily need a whole new law designed to deal with them. You just have to accept that their businesses. Maybe in some cases, you have to understand that they're interested in attention and not just money, but they turn attention into money. I think what we're learning is some of the older principles really should still apply a standard oil's basic method was to gain a monopoly by buying up all its most dangerous competitors. And that's exactly what Facebook did. So I'm in the school that suggests the old principles which call for the break-up of big monopolies have not gone out of date. Tim Wu is author of the new book the curse of bigness antitrust in the new gilded age that book it's available today. We had a much longer. Sation with Tim on the make me smart podcast. You can find that on apple podcasts or wherever you get your pods. And now for some related links. I rest in peace, STAN Lee who brought us so many things, including of course, that Connick line from Spiderman with great power comes great responsibility. Which of course, is exactly what we're talking about. Now on Monday in Paris, France, and some US tech companies put out a declaration calling for more regulation of the internet for cyber security privacy and to slow down the spread of misinformation. The United States is not currently listed as a supporter of the Paris. Call for trust insecurity in cyberspace, among US, tech companies Facebook, Cisco, Microsoft, Salesforce and Google did sign on. It's actually not dissimilar to something announced last week by Tim burners Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web called the contract for the web Facebook and Google also signed onto that it's a set of principles around affordability access and privacy, and it'll be launched in full next may. Day. And sure at the moment, I know these things are mostly just big announcement. But they're important because this thing the internet the World Wide Web has changed keeps changing our lives, and at the same time it's susceptible to the same problems as anything that humans create and it's so big and profound and powerful that it will take a large and global effort to keep refining it and in case all of that is too high falutin end up in the cloud. The Washington Post has a very black mirror story out this week about a UK study on how driverless cars are going to change tourism, and nightlife and apparently become little mobile paid sex bubbles because also thing about humans is that there's not a single invention that we won't somehow start using for sex. I'm Ali would. And that's marketplace tech. This is a PM. Susan in Alta, California wrote to tell us she believes marketplace is an important source of business news, and that she trusts are hosts and reporters to be clear and objective. She's also a marketplace investor to join her and keeping public service journalism strong, donate online at marketplace dot org. Thanks to season and everyone who makes our work possible.

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