Mo Udall was right, at least a little: break them up!!!


Big monopolies aren’t just an economic threat: They’re a political threat. Because they’re largely free of market constraints, they don’t have to put all their energy into making a better product for less money. Instead, they put a lot of their energy into political manipulation to protect their monopoly.

An industry made up of 500 companies might want government protection, but it’s harder to get them to agree on a lobbying campaign. One made up of three companies, or one, can do so, and be sure that it will reap all the rewards of its effort.

Thus, as Wu notes, “the more concentrated the industry, the more corrupt we can expect the political process to be.” And as he points out, these fears (and the realities) of huge companies wielding unchecked political power motivated the antitrust crusaders of a century ago every bit as much as concern about prices.

these new tech monsters have a one-two punch that Standard Oil lacked: Not only do they control immense wealth and important industries, but their fields of operation — which give them enormous control over communications, including communications about politics — also give them direct political power that in many ways exceeds that of previous monopolies.

As Wu writes: “Big tech is ubiquitous, seems to know too much about us, and seems to have too much power over what we see, hear, do, and even feel. It has reignited debates over who really rules, when the decisions of just a few people have great influence over everyone.”

Facing a similar situation, Roosevelt declared, “When aggregated wealth demands what is unfair, its immense power can be met only by the still greater power of the people as a whole.”

With today’s economy dominated by the FANG companies, will Donald Trump — another brash New Yorker who found himself in the White House — follow TR’s lead? Perhaps a better question is, why wouldn’t he?

Udall was about breaking up the oil companies, but the internet situation is much more serious, as we have explored in signficant detail. Getting Ralph Nader and Instapundit (and ourselves) on the same page is a unique example of bipartisanship.

Finally, we note the really offensive political and business scumminess of the FANG companies’ executives (Apple aside for now). They make the Rockefellers look like the 12 Apostles by comparison.

One Response to “Mo Udall was right, at least a little: break them up!!!”

  1. feeblemind Says:

    In principle I am against breaking them up. That is punishing success, and I have a problem with that.

    Anyway, even if you break them up into a hundred smaller companies, they will be run by people with the same ideological bent, yes? So what would really change?

    And while I am also loathe to regulate, I believe a better approach would be to designate these social network sites as common carriers and prohibiting them from deleting anyone’s account.

    I doubt that will happen because these companies are just doing the Government’s dirty work for them, censoring conservative speech with Government’s tacit approval. Government would prefer that was done everywhere.

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