Break Up Facebook / Amazon / Google?


#1

Seems like this is becoming a thing people are talking about, all politics aside. I’m hearing it from left and right.

@Joe whatcha think your boy TR would have done?

  • Break 'em up
  • Keep them as-is
  • Bacon

0 voters


#2

Wait, what’s going on??


#3

I just voted because I thought of Marc Z and Jeff B breaking up like high school sweethearts.


#4

tough call i voted keep them as is.


#5

I don’t use facebook but I do love amazon and what it has done for me as a consumer. On the flip side it completely throws a blow at brick and mortar stores.

People think Bezos is too rich. Well the guy came from absolutely nothing, good for him, he doesn’t owe anybody shit (you’re welcome to change my mind, I’m open to discussion). I’m envious of his wealth, not jealous of it.

Yesterday I really wanted to get my tree from home depot/walmart whatever this year as I could just pick it up one two three and be done. Cheapest shittiest tree was 200$ that would fit in my living room. The one I actually wanted was 325.

Went on amazon for their best seller, 100$ later, awesome tree with 2 day shipping.

I’m all for supporting brick and mortar stores. I have no problem paying 10-20 shit even a 50% markup on something (talking like 10-15$ not 100-150$), but I can’t in good conscious pay 3-4-5x for something when I can get the same thing online for 400% less.


#6

It seems more like it throws a brick at badly managed / inflexible model brick and mortar stores. Brick & mortar in some areas is still going well.


#7

I agree, I exaggerated. But definitely increases competition for all of them, save those very very very particular stores that do custom orders/


#8

So do you guys think 1980 AT&T (when they controlled local and long distance) was more powerful than Facebook or Google?

The size and power of Google is pretty scary. Just check out this for one example:


#9

Ok, I got it. I thought the OP meant that all 3 companies were secretly together which confused me. We’re talking about breaking up overly large companies in general. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/20/facebook-google-antitrust-laws-gilded-age

So then basically what is being said is that punish companies who get above X, Y, or Z, in size. Seems anti-capitalism or possibly anti-American. People vote with their feet which is closely tied to their wallet, I don’t think “we” or the government should get involved unless it’s actually a monopoly or other situation like that.


#10

Damn that’s fucking scary if it’s actually true

EDIT: It is, just checked. JESUS

any coincidence I was bashed on reddit because I said school shouldn’t be free and people should pay back their loans?


#11

You guys do realize we have antitrust laws on the books right, and that we’ve used them in the past to break up companies that get too big and powerful to the detriment of the public good? Sherman Antitrust Act? Clayton Antitrust Act? Am I the only one that passed high school history?

Rockefeller and Standard Oil?
AT&T being broken up to the Baby Bells?
Microsoft (who actually won their antitrust case)?
Any of this ring a bell?

I’m not going to argue if antitrust laws are good, bad or fair in a capitalist society but they are decided law in the US. The argument can certainly be made that Google has far more influence and control over the people of the US than AT&T or Standard Oil ever did.


#12

how about coming at it like this. i think the FAANG stocks are an incredibly important testament to the American spirit of innovation and empire-expansion. Europe has no serious competitors (current or emerging) so their use of anti-trust laws is as much protectionist (because all of their citizens are addicted to US tech products and the products mine thier user data such that Apple and Facebook know more about EU citizens than the EU does) as it is emblematic of how you cannot innovate in more socialist states.

Think, many of the most succesful individuals running many of the FAANG companies and their kin are not from the US. you have to go to the US to get to a certain level unless you have government contracts or protected industries.

IMHO, if you just get these big guys paying normal tax rates like the more heavily regulated industries do and then make it easier to compete with them they will follow a normal course of business. You dont need to break them up.


#13

on the subject of why europe has no serious competitors to the FAANGco’s i believe it was Peter Theil who, in a Rubin Report discussion, said that in Europe the culture is not to hang on until your start-up becomes paypal.

Instead, you create a start-up and instead of building it and selling it and taking home $500m for yourself you sell it way earlier and take home $25m and just retire for the rest of your life. Those start ups are not developed enough to become the next paypal since you need to retain that start-up culture of innovation and lose money for a while like most of the big tech companies did. Uber is running at a quarterly loss near $1B arent they?


#14

So are you for or against breaking these companies up? Is there any indication that these companies are acting in a way that’s against the basis of the antitrust laws? Just because a company has a lot of revenue doesn’t mean they are too big for the public good. I’m trying to make the connection that I currently don’t see

For others reference: https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/09/antitrust-law.asp


#15

They have monopolistic influence over their respective industries and they are actively acting anti-competitive. For example how Facebook / Instagram have directly copied Snap’s products and leveraging the FB infrastructure and lower capital cost they can effectively prevent a new FB competitor from emerging.

Then you have all of the search influence that google has and the tax-evasive nature of Amazon’s practices etc. etc.

I like developing both sides of the arguement.


#16

Honestly I would just like to see the internet turn off and all companies associated with the internet to go away. It’s better for the whole world, trust me.


#17

Oh TR. One of the last good Republican Presidents. He would have gone full trust buster.

It’s a tough call because there aren’t the physical barriers to entry in the tech industry that there were in the old AT&T type monopolies (they literally owned the phone lines and you’re not going to have 10 competitors running lines on top of one another) but their market share and vertical/horizontal integration on all aspects of the average consumer is really high. Plus they know everything about you which is another scary aspect for another thread. Net Neutrality going away could change that and literally put up those barriers, in which case it’s time for the gov’t to step in (to put it back though, not to break them up IMO)

Having said that, there’s nothing to stop someone from totally avoiding Google and/or Amazon. You can buy all your shit from other places, use other search engines and mobile phones, etc, it’s just much more difficult to do so and people don’t because of herd mentality. I’d say the better comparison is Walmart 10 years ago, and they never got broken up.


#18

i need to hear why you think net neutrality (Obama’s version) is going to help reign in the tech companies. I thought it was the opposite and that getting rid of that policy was progress toward impeding the tech co’s.


#19

How could you possibly think it was the opposite? Net neutrality means ISP’s have to treat all data the same. They can’t make deals with big companies to create a “fast lane,” where their data gets sent faster than other companies’. They can’t throttle a competitor’s data. For tech companies, it’s the equivalent of if could choose to provide better electrical service and water to companies that paid them a hefty fee and cut off those that don’t. It will stifle competition from smaller companies and innovative entrepreneurs.

If I start up a competitor to Amazon, and Jeff Bezos pays off the ISP’s, he can make it so Joemazon takes 45 minutes to load and costs you data from your plan. Meanwhile Amazon takes 2 seconds and all the bandwidth is free. That kind of shit was illegal before. Doesn’t matter how good my prices are if the competition pays to put up roadblocks to my site. There was a huge protest on Small Business Saturday at this time last year with small tech companies making this argument.


#20

And they still can’t. The difference is the FTC is the regulatory body instead of the FCC.

@LZ1 and I had a series of posts about this in the Net Neutrality thread: FCC loses ruling :(