👓 About Us | Open Market Institute

Read Our Mission and What We Do (Open Markets Institute)
The Open Markets Institute works to address threats to our democracy, individual liberties, and our national security from today’s unprecedented levels of corporate concentration and monopoly power. Launched as an independent organization in September 2017, Open Markets uses research and journalism to expose the dangers of monopolization, identifies changes in policy and law to address them, and educates policymakers, academics, movement groups, and other influential stakeholders to re-establish the competitive markets that long formed the bedrock of American democracy. 

🎧 Solving the Facebook Problem at Home and Abroad | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to Solving the Facebook Problem at Home and Abroad by Bob Garfield from On the Media | WNYC Studios

When former Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes penned a New York Times op-ed calling for the breakup of the platform, he was lauded by anti-corporate politicians and the press. Then came a series of hard questions: how exactly would breaking up Facebook, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram, address free speech concerns? Or help stifle the spread of propaganda on the platform? And how would American regulations affect the majority of Facebook users, who live in the global south? According to Michael Lwin, an American-born antitrust lawyer living in Yangon, Myanmar, US regulators should tread lightly. He and Bob speak about how calls to break up Facebook could have wide ranging unintended consequences, especially outside of the US.

As bad as Facebook is, there are some potential second and multiple-order effects to be careful of when considering breaking them up or heavily regulating them.

📑 How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated | Wired

Annotated How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated by Tim Wu (WIRED)
If there is a sector more ripe for the reinvigoration of antitrust regulation, I do not know it.  

📑 How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated | Wired

Annotated How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated by Tim Wu (WIRED)
But now it was all for the best: a law of nature, a chance for the monopolists to do good for the universe. The cheerer-in-chief for the monopoly form is Peter Thiel, author of Competition Is for Losers. Labeling the competitive economy a “relic of history” and a “trap,” he proclaimed that “only one thing can allow a business to transcend the daily brute struggle for survival: monopoly profits.”  

Sounds like a guy who is winning all of the spoils.

📑 How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated | Wired

Annotated How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated by Tim Wu (WIRED)
In total, Facebook managed to string together 67 unchallenged acquisitions, which seems impressive, unless you consider that Amazon undertook 91 and Google got away with 214 (a few of which were conditioned). In this way, the tech industry became essentially composed of just a few giant trusts: Google for search and related industries, Facebook for social media, Amazon for online commerce. While competitors remained in the wings, their positions became marginalized with every passing day.  

👓 There is no single solution to making the internet more decentralised – The art of the possible | The Economist

Read There is no single solution to making the internet more decentralised (The Economist)
Stopping the internet from getting too concentrated will be a slog, but the alternative would be worse

This has generally been an interesting series of articles in The Economist.

As John Sherman, the senator who gave his name to America’s original antitrust law in 1890, put it at a time when the robber barons ruled much of America’s economy: “If we will not endure a king as a political power, we should not endure a king over the production, transportation and sale of any of the necessaries of life.”