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Opinion | Taming Apex Predators of Tech



Then there are fines, like a multibillion dollar one the Federal Trade Commission is considering penalizing Facebook for privacy breaches. While the fine would be the largest that the agency has ever imposed, it would also be far too small to make a difference. When Facebook announced that it had to transfer $ 5 billion as a look-out card, Wall Street and the Facebook share waved.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of talk about how the countries can work together to improve the electronic ecosystem. New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with President Emmanuel Macron of France last week, for example, to create an intergovernmental effort to end online extremism. While it is legitimate in theory, there is very little of this twist that is likely to lead to some rules with the booklet. In addition, the prospects of governments that make rules on limiting speech are in the process of ethical dilemmas.

Finally, it's the biggest gun: Use the antitrust law to break up big tech companies. Antitrust action talks have been steadily increasing, especially in a recent essay in this paper by Facebook founder Chris Hughes. His statement that the company was breaking up attracted a lot of attention, especially after calling the power of Mark Zuckerberg, his former college roommate, "un-American". It had to hurt, although the stroke is likely to be sparkling, since antitrust cases are slow and difficult to pull off.

And yet, the idea of ​​using antitrust to rein in these companies has gained a significant increase recently with the Supreme Court's decision to allow a lawsuit from consumers aimed at how Apple runs its App Store to continue in a lower court.

Breaking with the more conservative wing of the court in a 5-4 decision, lawyer Kavanaugh wrote in the majority that Apple's arguments that it was not the subject of a lawsuit over their app prices "ignore legal text and precedent, an unlimited and economically meaningless distinction between monopolistic dealers and providing monopolistic retailers with guidance to escape the antitrust law. " [19659002] Apple has and will continue to argue that it's not a hardware and software monopoly – that's true. But the case, though narrow, is still a flashing neon sign of change. It is about thinking about the idea of ​​what a monopoly is with an eye on the power of the network effect. Although a company does not completely dominate its sector, if the platform can exercise what constitutes an ironfist control over consumers, it should perhaps be considered a monopoly. .
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