Let’s Play Monopoly?

Deepnews Digest

Let’s Play Monopoly?

Editor: Christopher Brennan
The U.S. Justice Department is bringing its most significant challenge to tech in decades, with an antitrust suit filed Tuesday against Google. While this move will get a lot of attention, the discussion around whether tech giants such as Facebook and Amazon have monopolies has been heating up for weeks and months. To bring together some recent in-depth pieces for you to check out, we set our algorithm to look for quality articles on competition, antitrust and regulating Big Tech.
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Published every Thursday

The Markup

How to Stop Google Self-Preferencing? Europe May Not Be the Model

After a wide-ranging 16-month investigation, a congressional subcommittee examining dominance in the technology industry last week recommended more than two dozen updates to the U.S. antitrust system, including implementing nondiscrimination rules that would limit “preferential or discriminatory treatment” by dominant platforms.

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LA Review of Books

The Great Unread: On William Deresiewicz’s “The Death of the Artist”

Ultimately, Deresiewicz argues that government should break up these monopolies; it should hinder their tendency to “flout the law, to dictate terms, to smother competition, to control debate, to shape legislation, to determine price.”

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MIT Technology Review

Podcast: How democracies can reclaim digital power

Tech companies are setting norms and standards of all kinds that used to be set by governments.

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Why vocal for local won’t bother Google

BENGALURU/NEW DELHI : For several years, regulators, politicians, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists across the world have been whining about the seemingly limitless power wielded by America’s Big Tech, chiefly, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

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Vox EU

Increasing market concentration in Europe is more likely to be a sign of strength than a cause for concern

Aggregate firm concentration has increased in Europe in the last decade. Using firm-level data, this column shows that concentration is positively associated with productivity at the sector level. As a result, rising concentration should not be viewed as conclusive evidence of a weak competitive environment and need not necessarily be a cause for concern. Rather, rising concentration may be a reflection of more efficient market processes. This has important consequences for industrial and antitrust policy, which must carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of increasing concentration.

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National Review

House Hearing Reminds Conservatives of the Dangers of Progressive Proposals for Tech Companies

The idea that tech companies are monopolies is not borne out by the facts.

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Washington Post

How does Google’s monopoly hurt you? Try these searches

Let’s Google together. Open a web browser and search for T-shirts. I’ll wait.

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Media recovery beyond regulation

The current EU budget negotiations risk squeezing programmes like Creative Europe, with the same crumbs as before for the struggling press. In addition to GAFA regulation, and learning from MEDIA dedicated to audiovisual and film, bundling scattered efforts under NEWS could sustain the media sector’s transformation, write a group of MEPs and media experts and Christophe Leclercq.

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Financial Times ($)

With Amazon’s power comes great responsibilities

For years in the US — and recently in the UK — the start of the holiday shopping season has been marked by Black Friday, the late-November sales event when retailers were said to move into profit for the year. This year, something else has sounded the starting gun: Prime Day, Amazon’s annual promotion for members, postponed from its usual July slot because of Covid-19. The pandemic has turbocharged the online retailer’s business to such an extent that one research group expects Amazon to ring up almost $10bn in global sales in the two-day promotion that ends on Wednesday, up 43 per cent from last year. In the US, the likes of Walmart, Target and Best Buy have scurried to offer online promotions too.

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Facebook is infuriating Republicans. So why isn’t that helping with Democrats?

Nancy Pelosi won’t meet with the company — and Hill aides say an election-eve conversion isn’t going to make things better.

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American Banker

Congress’s scrutiny of tech giants could be blessing and curse for banks

WASHINGTON — A Democratic proposal to reform antitrust law to limit the reach of the largest technology firms may hearten banks, but analysts say the financial services sector is not immune from a revived focus on breaking up megacompanies.

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Washington’s one-two antitrust punch is about to smack Big Tech

Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple have made hundreds of acquisitions over the last decade, none of which were stopped by antitrust enforcers. — AFP

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Jim Steyer: Only a breakup of Facebook and controls on social media can reduce disinformation and lies on the internet

Neither Big Tech’s response nor the law have been strong enough to shield users from harm, says the founder of Common Sense Media

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Australian Financial Review ($)

There’s a taxing job for Cormann if he gets the OECD role

The OECD is the policy research arm of the world’s 37 richest countries. It has a formidable reputation for high-quality economic research, including how to measure the digital economy.

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Who regulates social media?

Social media platforms have repeatedly found themselves in the United States government’s crosshairs over the last few years, as it has been progressively revealed just how much power they really wield, and to what purposes they’ve chosen to wield it. But unlike, say, a firearm or drug manufacturer, there is no designated authority who says what these platforms can and can’t do. So who regulates them? You might say everyone and no one.

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