Antitrust: Tension between Consumer Interests and Government Needs

February 28, 2019

Are we facing the next great Ma Bell case? Likely the biggest antitrust case the general population recalls, was a landmark for the difference between having a big company and having a monopoly. In this technological age, however, we’re dealing with far greater impact than phone lines and long distance charges. We learned ore about this interesting battle over at Salon in an article called, “Do Google and Facebook Need to Be Broken Up?”

According to the story:

“Under the antitrust laws, it’s not a violation to be large, to be successful and to have sort of want a competition in the market place providing you have engaged in anticompetitive conduct, either to obtain or to maintain that dominant position, so that the real question is what’s the conduct that it so much to be a problem. That I think is the only way you’d have to focus.”

Why does this matter? Because antitrust and national security are becoming deeper and deeper intertwined. The danger of fake news, hacking, deepfake videos and more have become harder to monitor because of the sheer size of Google and Facebook.

But some government agencies depend on social media and the de facto control points. Is the line blurring or is the line disappearing?

Patrick Roland, February 28, 2019

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