US Big Tech to EU: Please, Knock Off the Outputs

May 23, 2024

dinosaur30a_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dinobaby. Unlike some folks, no smart software improved my native ineptness.

I read “Big Tech to EU: “Drop Dead.” I think the write up depicts the US alleged quasi monopolies of indifference to the wishes of the European Union. Stated another way, “The Big Dogs are battling for AI dominance.” The idea is that these outfits do not care what the EU wants. The Big Dogs care about what they want.

The write up contains several interesting statements. Let me highlight a handful and encourage you to read this article which explains some of the tension between governments and companies with more cash than some nation states. In fact, some of the Big Boys control more digitally inclined people than the annoying countries complaining about predatory business models. The illustration shows how much attention some Big Dogs allow EU and other government regulatory authorities.


The Big Dogs of technology participate in a Microsoft Teams’s session with and EU official. The Big Dogs seem to be more interested in their mobile phones than the political word salad from the august official. Thanks, MSFT Copilot. Keep following your security recipe.

Consider this statement:

Right from the start, it was obvious that the tech giants were going to war against the [European Digital Markets Act or] DMA, and the freedom it promised to their users.

But isn’t that what companies in a free market do?

Here’s another gem:

Apple charges app vendors a whopping 30 percent commission on most transactions, both the initial price of the app and everything you buy from it thereafter. This is a remarkably high transaction fee —compare it to the credit-card sector, itself the subject of sharp criticism for its high 3-5 percent fees. To maintain those high commissions, Apple also restricts its vendors from informing their customers about the existence of other ways of paying (say, via their website) and at various times has also banned its vendors from offering discounts to customers who complete their purchases without using the app.

What’s the markup for blue chip consulting firms or top end lawyers? Plus, Apple is serving its shareholders. As a public company, that is what shareholders have a right to expect. Once again, the underlying issue is how capitalism works in the US market.

And this statement:

These are high-stakes clashes. As the tech sector grew more concentrated, it also grew less accountable, able to substitute lock-in and regulatory capture for making good products and having their users’ backs. Tech has found new ways to compromise our privacy rights, our labor rights, and our consumer rights – at scale.

Once again the problem is capitalism. The companies have to generate growth, revenue, and profits. Can a government agency manage the day-to-day operations of these technology-centric firms? Governments struggle to maintain roads and keep their Web sites updated. The solution may have been a bit more interest 25 years ago. In my opinion, the “better late than never” approach is not going to work unless governments put these outfits out of business… one way or another.

Net net: The write up is not about Big Dog tech companies ignoring the DMA. The write up wants the basic function of publicly-traded companies to change. Go to a zoo. Find a jungle cat. Tell it to change its stripes. How is that going to work out?

Stephen E Arnold, May 23, 2024


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