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Old 11.01.2021, 09:32
bowlie bowlie is offline
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Re: Have the Big Tech Giants got too much power ?

The authorities need to bring in industry experts who truly understand how the business actually works. Existing laws and regulations, particularly ‘abuse of a dominant position’ are sufficient to deal with the issue, but when lawyers and accountants don’t really understand how a dominant position is being abused.

Microsoft vs Netscape is a good example. Regulators viewed lower and lower prices a good thing, in fact a better thing than the improvements in the browsers that had previously driven competition. Once Microsoft’s very deep pockets allowed them to give away their product free, something that Netscape couldn’t do, that ended the war and significant improvements in the products.

But by the time Regulators woke up, the game had changed. Smart phones became much more prevalent and they became the go to device. Even as the EU was requiring MS to change their business practices the business had changed.

In the interim, as new business models developed and became popular Regulators sat on their hands as competitors were allowed to buy each other, or merge - on the implied promise that something that was free was a good thing - ignoring that no-monetary cost doesn’t mean there are no other costs.

As an initial step regulators need to change the default rule that a buyout or takeover is assumed to be OK unless someone complains. The new rule that any acquisition over a certain amount, or a combined market share of more than 20% needs to be investigated. Any concessions agreed or promises made must be legally binding.

Existing giants need to be broken up. Businesses like Facebook and Twitter need to be split into identical pieces with separate shareholders and management. Businesses like Apple need to be split by business, hardware, operating systems, software, etc. Exclusivity agreements to be banned.

That would be a good start ...
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