The DOJ Antitrust suit is tight and aggressive, and the start of a new era.
Would you be willing to revisit the 2012 aborted anti-trust action against Google covered in the WSJ? It seems everybody just forgot about how political appointee FTC commissioners just decided to overrule staff attorneys that wanted antitrust action.
A "where are they now" would be interesting on the Commissioners. The former Chairwoman now works for a law firm that represents Google.
Dear Matt, this case is indeed meaningful. The background work led by D Cicilline impressive. However, we must acknowledge the market's reaction. Not just indifference but outright dismissal. Almost mocking. The stock of Google surging after the DOJ action; the stocks of all the Fabulous 5 adding $1trillion in value since Cicilline's report. This was not a "relief rally". This was Wall Street's view that it will come to nothing. More troubling is that the stock prices of these companies are now closely tracking the Biden-Harris poll odds. On the thesis that Harris is so close to Big Tech that she will act as a brake on anything too painful. A show trial...Your thoughts? Many thanks! Great work.
"an anonymous GOP House aide saying we’re a bunch of socialist adherents of ‘hipster antitrust’ who let “kombucha ferment for too long.”
I'd just like to say it's amazing that a GOP house aide knew that kombucha was a fermented product and didn't think it was some tin pot Republic somewhere. Obviously a female GOP aide. 😁
Seems a little too on the nose, but the email version of this ended up under the Promotions tab in my Gmail, albeit with the yellow "important" tag, whereas it normally comes to my Primary tab.
Quick one on Thatcher and TINA - when she said there is no alternative, she didn't mean that there was an alternative but she wouldn't contemplate it. Rather what she meant was that the UK went bust in 1978 and went to the IMF for a bailout. The IMF prescribed Chicago-school economics as a condition of the bailout.
The UK public were humiliated and voted out the then Labour Govt and elected Thatcher in 1979. She inherited that IMF settlement. So there was in fact, legally speaking, no alternative.
This isn't related to today's topic, but I thought you might find this interesting, I was listening to the radio today here in New Zealand and it seem we have just made our own little attempt at kneecapping anti-competitive behaviour
The thing is, it feels like nearly every carpark in Auckland city's CBD is still a Wilson Carpark, I'm not sure if this just personally pissed off some people in Wellington with the power and resources to do something about it or what, because it's still, like, $8-10 or so an hour to park anywhere in town up here. Maybe they'll break it up more, who knows, but there ya go that's my interesting little tidbit for ya
Matt, my old and highly worn edition of Bertram Gross’ “Friendly Fascism” was (and will always be) a classic of ‘exposure’. However, the tracing of “Friendly Fascism” has been more deeply diagnosed from the era/error of the Second World War of Empires to a broader analysis of how America has metastasized from the Nazi Empire beta-test of an attempt to hide or camouflage fascism in France’s Occupation by the Nazi Empire [“Our Vichy Gamble” William Langer, Harvard historian of the Vichy and OSS interplay], and today, would more accurately be fleshed-out and described as being one with the 1944 torpedoing of both FDR’s brilliant and socialist VP, Henry Wallace, the "Undoing of the New Deal”, and along with the OSS evolving into the CIA and expansion beyond just the ‘fascist’ form of government pathology into this full project of developing first the U.S. and then the globe into this now fully camouflaged Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Empire:
The most important word in the entire U.S. v. Google antitrust lawsuit is the last word in this description of the complaint:
“For many years,” the agency said in its 57-page complaint, “Google has used anti-competitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising and general search text advertising — the cornerstones of its empire.”
That’s right, “EMPIRE” is the most important word in ‘our’ U.S. Government’s anti-trust complaint — and the exact same word, “EMPIRE” is the exact; disclosure, exposure, education, and need for the ‘excising’ of the cancerous meta-causal tumors of EMPIRE, not only from the crony capitalist “disease of Republics” (and democratic Republics) hiding within the ‘body politic’ of our country!
The growth and metastasis of this “cancer of Empire”, which the third branch of our government is now lately addressing as being in ‘stage four’ only in the environment of high-tech Google, has already spread far more dangerously into the entirety of not just a private sector Empire, but even more deadly into the weakened immunity of our dual-party Vichy-facades of our faux-democracy.
America may be sung about as “the land of the free and the home of the brave” — but we are now faced with the “Apocalypse Now” of this highly camouflaged Disguised Global Crony Capitalist EMPIRE.
Google’s Empire is just a symptom (as faux-Emperor Trump is) of “the whole of starting an aggressive war of Empire” [Judge Jackson].
I love good writing, and what I just read was good writing. It drew me in. It was well-reasoned. It brought in other points-of-view. It avoided being too clever, yet brought in the twist, the subtle phrasing that makes you think about what was just written. Well done.
Apple should be next. It forces people to buy the working elements of its products , war piece, plugs etc separately. It sued a recycler for reselling it’s phones. It’s monopoly may not be the same as google search but for those who like Safari it’s a noose and Apple is too large to ignore and has too much money. It’s arguments are specious esp on recycling given it sued its recycler for reselling! And it outlaws products after 6 years adding to massive e-waste and junk.
Matt, I'm hoping you can clear something up for me.
This issue has put you in direct conflict with another underappreciated independent journalist who I read regularly, Mike Masnick over at Techdirt. His thoughts often skew anti-abusive-government, just as yours do, but with an emphasis on tech/IP policy rather than monopoly policy. He has said that the DOJs complaint in this case is far too narrow and politically motivated (see link below), and I see plenty of merit in his arguments.
I'd like nothing more than to see the two of you engage in conversation on this issue, or at the very least pose some counterarguments, since you both seem to want the same thing -- reigning in unaccountable power -- but you approach it in different ways.
Personally I find I sit somewhere between the two of you ideologically. This complaint does seem too narrow and destined to fail if not amended to include stronger antitrust arguments, but the libertarians in the comments on Techdirt also seem to fundamentally misunderstand antitrust law. It seems to me both sides could benefit from an honest exchange of ideas and a bit of pushback.
p.s. here's the link i mentioned:
I wish I shared your optimism that this is the start of a new anti-monopoly era. What confidence do you have that this bipartisan consensus will expand beyond the limited scope of Big Tech? Republicans like Tom Cotton only seem to flog this issue because of perceived anti-conservative bias at certain firms. Will his fervor extend to Facebook, where a lot of conservatives have successfully gamed the algorithm to promote their content? What’s the likelihood that they’ll go after non-tech firms like Tyson Chicken, Smithfield, or Wal-Mart? I think that’s the true test to see if we’ve entered a new paradigm. Love your work, keep it up!
Fair point. In which case, given the vast bulk of the compensation of executives is through stock options, these challenges should not meet too much resistance! The DOJ is doing them a favour.. Not intuitive but so far borne out by the market action. Many thanks
Matt: As you well know anti-trust cases take decades, and usually result in a slap on the wrist. Surveillance Capitalism will proceed apace.
New to the newsletter. Good work. Unfortunately, I find myself disagreeing with your basic assessment that "The complaint itself a tight, well-reasoned, and nicely framed case." The basis for this is my own personal experience. I came to use the Google search engine well before I ever considered using Chrome, even though I have always been a bit of a Microsoft fanboy, simply because Google gave noticeably better search results. Years later, I have migrated to Chrome, reluctantly, because Microsoft simply made life miserable for my by the ways in which they have increasingly tied an utterly offensive, dynamic graphics-intensive MSN newsfeed to Microsoft Edge, despite all of my best efforts to try to get rid of it. Yes, Google tries to promote Chrome on its search page, quite inoffensively, I think. But the real reason I use both Chrome and Google has nothing to do with a Google monopoly, actually more to do with an ineptly-executed Microsoft attempt at monopoly.
I'm sorry. I don't share in your optimism. Power will not aquiesce. I agree they should. I just do not beleive its gonma happen. I'm gonna check ya out Rising as well. Great article. Sorry. I've lost complete faith in a for profit judicial system.
Hi Matt, saw you one BBc tonight. Keep fighting!