Anti-trust targets size

From the WSJ:

In the early days of DoubleClick, a prospective employee asked what my ultimate goals were for the newly formed internet advertising company. With the arrogance of a young startup founder, I responded, “To be broken up by the Department of Justice.”

That was 1996, and we were still trying to persuade established companies to buy ads on our newfangled platform, so my answer was obviously a joke. Yet in 2007 Google announced it was acquiring DoubleClick, and now the company I used to lead is a target of Justice’s antitrust investigation into the search giant. Facebook, Apple, Twitter and Amazon are also in federal trustbusters’ crosshairs. Their offense? That hundreds of millions of happy customers freely choose to use their products.

We faced formidable competition when I led DoubleClick, but we successfully executed a simple strategy: build a product so great that customers would eventually drop the competition for us. All the tech titans now under investigation won in similar competitions for business and eyeballs. The growth they have enjoyed isn’t a crime. Media rants about a supposed tech oligarchy demonstrate a bewildering lack of understanding of how markets work.

What is Big Tech’s offense? Size. Politicians and pundits seem to assume that big is bad. Though many of their products are provided free of charge, tech titans now face political attack for their success. Yet if you don’t like their products, the competition is only a click away.

Read the whole thing.

This entry was posted in Cryptoeconomics, Free Enterprise, Oppressive government, Technology & Telco. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Anti-trust targets size

  1. Suburban Boy

    OT: The Supreme Court of the UK has just undertaken a judicial coup. It has overturned centuries of settled law concerning the prerogatives of the Crown and decided that the Parliament has not been prorogued, notwithstanding an Order to that effect made by the Queen in Council.

  2. struth

    Sometimes Sinclair trolls his own site.

  3. Delta

    The argument around Facebook and other platform providers being able to remove whomever they choose is based on the supposed property rights of the providers. If they are publishers, they cannot be held responsible for content on their platforms but this is exactly what they are doing when it suits them.

    So which is it to be? They seem more like publishers to me. There’s more to it than the simple “let the market sort it out” suggestion from the WSJ article.

  4. feelthebern

    Did the DoubleClick chap take stock or cash from google?

  5. Crikey, whoever wrote that doesn’t understand.
    He’s as clueless as a Greens voter.

    Big tech isn’t in the crosshairs for having “hundreds of millions of happy customers”
    It is in the crosshairs for targeting people whose personal opinions aren’t popular with the Hollywood-left.

    This dickhead will never understand. Fuck him.

  6. Crossie

    No, anti-trust does not target size, it targets large monopolies that are intent on interfering in the democratic process. Google would not be a target if it didn’t take one side in the political wars and not just take sides but do harm to one of the contestants. That is not the behaviour of an impartial trader.

    The same goes for Facebook and Twitter. What’s even worse, now non-media corporations are eager to engage in the war. They can all cry me a river.

  7. Crossie

    feelthebern
    #3166462, posted on September 24, 2019 at 8:33 pm
    Did the DoubleClick chap take stock or cash from google?

    The answer to that would certainly change the whole point of this article.

  8. Russell

    Would I be happier with rules of big business or big government?
    They seem pretty much the same animal to me.
    And don’t give me the “but we vote for government” claptrap because we get to choose products as well.
    It’s mighty hard to “support” your politics in business decisions without actually harming yourself.
    It’s even harder to find a politician or public servant who are worth talking to.
    So called “Influence” is highly overrated for any joe-average. Just so many sheep, wolves and shepherds.
    In my life-experience, big institutions are always bad and up to no good.

  9. Crossie, well put.

    …anti-trust does not target size, it targets large monopolies that are intent on interfering in the democratic process.

    +1

  10. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    How is giving away Internet Explorer “interfering in the democratic process”?

    After the absurd Microsoft antitrust case, MSFT started making more political donations.

    Anti trust is just legalised racketeering.

  11. JC

    Socrates at the Pub
    #3166463, posted on September 24, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Crikey, whoever wrote that doesn’t understand.
    He’s as clueless as a Greens voter.

    Big tech isn’t in the crosshairs for having “hundreds of millions of happy customers”
    It is in the crosshairs for targeting people whose personal opinions aren’t popular with the Hollywood-left.

    This dickhead will never understand. Fuck him.

    No, actually you’re the dickhead, dickhead. The threat of legal action has nothing to do with what you suggest. Now go pour drinks and remain silent on anything other than pouring beer.

  12. JC

    Here’s a good summary of the investigation by the Government into Big Tech. While each company is being investigated about their own unique dominance in their respective market sector the reasons are also unique to the firm concerned.

    I think it’s total bullshit. Apple for instance no longer has real dominance through its app store.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/08/technology/antitrust-amazon-apple-facebook-google.html

  13. JC

    Anti trust is just legalised racketeering.

    It’s truly shocking, Frank. We see it here too with the ACCC controlling even discounting of petrol and grog.

    It’s based on the perfect competition model, which is a total crock. as you know.

  14. steve

    Size? No, it is using that size to disregard the law and to aggressively destroy smaller competition.

  15. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    aggressively destroy smaller competition

    Let’s not have competition?

    Awful, just awful Arthur Scargillian economic policy.

  16. JC

    Steve

    What has “aggressively” destroyed competition – especially in the tech sector was the imposition of Sarbanes Oxley that has essentially prevented small firms from accessing the public markets.

  17. Hey Wanker, it is one thing to tell me I’m off the mark – but it’d be an idea to say why.

    Just to prove you have some idea what you’re talking about, & not just being your usual khunt self.
    (No charge for the tune-up, you deserved it)

  18. DoubleClick chosen by customers? Who are these customers? Certainly not internet users that have their computers infested with DoubleClick adware even if they don’t click on any ads. Why do you think ad blockers became so popular as well as instruction on how to get rid of DoubleClick from your computer?

    A pox on DoubleClick and their ilk.

  19. yarpos

    Rather simplistic self serving nonsense really, its not about size alone or the presence of happy (if ignorant) customers. The disingenuous writer knows that though.

  20. MatrixTransform

    Humans are a cash crop

    And the idea that DoubleClick were selling anything tangible is absurd.
    Even the advertisers are getting robbed.

    For a while there we would pay Goggles around 100 bucks a month. Which was great while I was able to do the SEO and our competitors hadn’t caught up.

    But then they did and of course Goggles sold to them what they’d already sold to me.

    And then things like addresses and maps were wrong and couldn’t be righted
    And then for no reason Goggles refuse to spider our website and there was no info as to why … Kafka-esque

    and they still kept on billing every month.

    and then I simply stopped.

    I doubt they’d miss the revenue from little old me

  21. Indolent

    They are trying to create a digital MSM monopoly. Tens of thousands of accounts on Twitter are removed simply for espousing views that don’t fit the narrative while terrorist accounts are left to flourish. The same on Facebook. And they swallow up the small competitors one by one. Yes, there are some websites where free speech still flourishes (take a bow) but it is harder and harder to reach a wide audience with any conservative views. This situation in unusual in that its not so much money that’s being gouged but free speech that’s being throttled. However, monopoly busting is the only answer. Otherwise, they will simply get more and more powerful.

  22. stackja

    Customers should come first.
    Does a company provide a service?
    Twitter owns the platform.
    Twitter censor their users.
    Twitter probably want DT off. But can’t. DT would just create a another platform.

  23. stackja

    Microsoft benefited from other companies mistakes.
    Microsoft made a mistake with Edge.
    Google Chrome benefitted.
    It is unlikely any start up company can compete now.

  24. Cynic of Ayr

    I don’t think the problem is the size of Facebook and Google, rather it is the obvious tendency of them to use their profits to pursue a social gender of their choosing, not necessarily of their customer’s or share holder’s choosing.
    The “owner” of these business is entitled to spend as much of his own money (salary and dividends) on anything he likes, but the tendency is to spend none of their own money, but spend someone else’s money – shareholder’s dividends.
    Company Boards are required to work for the shareholders best interest. Trying to turn an environment wherein the Company thrived – Capitalism – into an environment where the Company will not be allowed to exist – Socialism – seems to be the opposite of that best interest.
    It’s strange that Google, Facebook and Amazon do not realise or even contemplate that they could not operate in Russia, China, or Venezuela, yet they pursue that very end.

  25. Colin Suttie

    What’s the theory Sinclair, if you don’t like what BigTech does, just build your own Google/Twitter/Facebook? Yet another example of why Z man plays the clown horn sound whenever he talks about libertarians.

  26. Sinclair Davidson

    What’s the theory Sinclair, if you don’t like what BigTech does, just build your own Google/Twitter/Facebook?

    or don’t use their products.

  27. Colin Suttie

    “Or don’t use their products”
    How’s the ivory in your tower?

  28. Colin Suttie

    I make quite a decent 2nd income from Google, but I disagree with much of their current philosophy. Should I sacrifice the income on the altar of ideological purity? Or should I merely build my own Google?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.