17 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2021
    1. Theodore Roosevelt—who denounced the “unfair money-getting” that created a “small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power”—rewrote the rules. He broke up monopolies to make the economy more fair, returning power to small businesses and entrepreneurs. He enacted protections for working people. And he created the national parks, public spaces for all to enjoy.

      We could definitely use another round of this now. Where is the end of our current gilded age?

    1. Amazon is making many books exclusive to their platform and not allowing libraries digital access.

      Maybe worth looking at what they're doing and how those practices mirror those of academic journal publishing for creating monopolies.

  2. Feb 2021
    1. Economists call this a "network effect": the more people there are on Twitter, the more reason there is to be on Twitter and the harder it is to leave. But technologists have another name for this: "lock in." The more you pour into Twitter, the more it costs you to leave. Economists have a name for that cost: the "switching cost."
  3. Jan 2021
    1. Users fully depend on WhatsApp developers. If WhatsApp developers decide to include user-hostile features in the app, users must go with it. They can’t switch to a different server or client without switching away from WhatsApp and losing the ability to communicate with all their WhatsApp contacts.

      This is the sort of monopoly behavior that needs to be regulated.

  4. Oct 2020
    1. For the company that takes Goodreads' crown, “the possibilities are so much greater”. 

      With discovery and aggregation, the possibilities are really just being bought out again by Amazon and stagnating.

      We need some monopoly busting here to help real competion.

    1. In total, Facebook managed to string together 67 unchallenged acquisitions, which seems impressive, unless you consider that Amazon undertook 91 and Google got away with 214 (a few of which were conditioned). In this way, the tech industry became essentially composed of just a few giant trusts: Google for search and related industries, Facebook for social media, Amazon for online commerce. While competitors remained in the wings, their positions became marginalized with every passing day.
    2. When a dominant firm buys its a nascent challenger, alarm bells are supposed to ring. Yet both American and European regulators found themselves unable to find anything wrong with the takeover.
    1. Today's Web giants want us to believe that they and they alone are suited to take us to wherever we end up next. Having used Adversarial Interoperability as a ladder to attain their rarefied heights, they now use laws to kick the ladder away and prevent the next Microcomputer Center or Tim Berners-Lee from doing to them what the Web did to Gopher, and what Gopher did to mainframes.
    1. In other words, the Web as a collection of heterogeneous sites has largely given way to a small number of sites with near-monopolistic control of authentication, search, and content distribution.

      How can IndieWeb principles be used to get rid of the monopoly? What other pieces have been monopolized (and also bundled, which provides even further value)?

    2. Facebook allows users to sign in, authenticate, and identify themselves on a range of Web sites, feeding our data to Facebook as we move across the Web.

      If second and third tier services that are mono-tasking tools in the social space would allow for some of the IndieWeb building blocks, then this would not only help them significantly, but also help to break up the monopoly.

      Here I'm thinking about things like SoundCloud, Flickr, et al that do one piece really well, but which don't have the market clout. Instagram might have been included in the collection prior to it's buyout by Facebook. Huffduffer is an audio service that does a bit of this IndieWeb sort of model.

  5. Nov 2018
    1. If there is a sector more ripe for the reinvigoration of antitrust regulation, I do not know it.
    2. But now it was all for the best: a law of nature, a chance for the monopolists to do good for the universe. The cheerer-in-chief for the monopoly form is Peter Thiel, author of Competition Is for Losers. Labeling the competitive economy a “relic of history” and a “trap,” he proclaimed that “only one thing can allow a business to transcend the daily brute struggle for survival: monopoly profits.”

      Sounds like a guy who is winning all of the spoils.

  6. Jul 2018
    1. As John Sherman, the senator who gave his name to America’s original antitrust law in 1890, put it at a time when the robber barons ruled much of America’s economy: “If we will not endure a king as a political power, we should not endure a king over the production, transportation and sale of any of the necessaries of life.”
  7. Jan 2014
    1. And JSTOR really was in an impossible bargaining position. Important scientific papers do not have cheaper alternatives. If someone wants to read Watson and Crick's paper on DNA or Einstein's paper on the photoelectric effect, it is not as if there is a paper by John Doe that is just as good and available for less. Academic publishers are, in effect, natural monopolies that can demand as much money as we can afford, and possibly more.