2019/06/03

Let the Trust Busting Begin

It's Happening

I and many others who've been censored for dissenting from Big Tech's diabolical campaign of social control have long urged the Trump administration to take the only feasible solution.

It is therefore a great pleasure to report that the Justice Department is officially investigating Google for possible antitrust law violations.
Just before midnight on Friday, at the close of what was a hectic month for markets, WSJ dropped a bombshell of a story: The paper reported that the DoJ has opened an anti-trust investigation of Alphabet Inc., which could "present a major new layer of regulatory scrutiny for the search giant, according to people familiar with the matter." The report was sourced to "people familiar with the matter," but was swiftly corroborated by the New York Times, Bloomberg and others.
For months now, the FTC has appeared to be gearing up for a showdown with big tech. The agency - which shares anti-trust authority with the DoJ - has created a new commission that could help undo big-tech tie-ups like Facebook's acquisition of Instagram, and hired lawyers who have advanced new anti-monopoly theories that would help justify the breakup of companies like Amazon.
But as it turns out, the Trump administration's first salvo against big tech didn't come from the FTC; instead, this responsibility has been delegated to the DoJ, which has reportedly been tasked with supervising the investigation into Google.
That's not super surprising, since the FTC already had its chance to nail Google with an anti-monopoly probe back in 2013. But the agency came up short. From what we can tell, it appears the administration will divvy up responsibility for any future anti-trust investigations between the two agencies, which means the FTC - which is already reportedly preparing to levy a massive fine against Facebook - could end up taking the lead in those cases.
A good indicator of the seriousness of a threat is its effect on the intended targets. For their part, Big Tech is taking the Google investigation and the likelihood of further antitrust action stemming from it as seriously as a heart attack.
Bloomberg News and other news organizations reported late Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to open an investigation into Google’s compliance with antitrust laws. If it goes forward, an investigation will no doubt be broad, lengthy, messy, and impossible for Google and its investors to predict.
That should terrify Google and every other big technology company — because there’s no guarantee that the antitrust Klieg light will turn on one company alone.
What form could antitrust penalties against Google take? Here's my favorite suggestion:
But according to Open Markets’ Matthew Stoller, the best long-term remedy for Google’s dominance has more to do with Google’s acquisitions. "If you’re looking for a silver bullet, probably the best thing to do would be to block Google from being able to buy any companies," says Stoller. “Suddenly, you have to compete with Google, you can’t just be bought out by Google.”
Can anyone think of a single useful innovation to come out of Google in the last three years? That kind of stagnation is what happens when a company just throws cash at all its problems instead of making the effort to find solutions.

If the bugmen at Alphabet had to innovate around challenges, they'd have less time on their hands to play world thought police.

Bonus: leaner, hungrier companies willing to put in the work might rise to challenge Google's dominance if they know a buyout isn't an option.

The day when the DOJ breaks up Google will be a day long remembered. Based on Alphabet's narrow escape from antitrust action under Obama, compounded by the recent string of multibillion-dollar EU fines, Google's last dawn might just be on the horizon.

Related: I had to share this gem buried in the Yahoo Finance story linked above.
The current White House has been openly critical of Google, largely over bogus claims that it and some other tech companies unfairly suppress conservative voices online.
Yahoo: Big Tech should be afraid of the Trump DOJ's antitrust investigations.

Also Yahoo: Trump's claims that Big Tech is censoring his supporters are bogus.

Excuse me a second. I have to get this schadenfreude out, or I'm gonna burst.

Hey Big Tech, why so nervous? You've got nothing to worry about if you've got nothing to hide!

As for the substance of Yahoo's denial, unlike Shira Ovide, I show my homework.
Pages 66-73 of the briefing admits that tech platforms including Google, Facebook and Twitter underwent a “shift towards censorship” over the past few years.
In case you were wondering who the shift is directed towards:
These individuals, who preside over a company with unrivaled influence over the flow of information, can be seen disparaging the motivations of Trump voters and plotting ways to use their vast resources to thwart the Trump agenda.
Co-founder Sergey Brin can be heard comparing Trump supporters to fascists and extremists. Brin argues that like other extremists, Trump voters were motivated by “boredom,” which he says in the past led to fascism and communism.
The Google co-founder then asks his company to consider what it can do to ensure a “better quality of governance and decision-making.”
Google, and every other tech giant under the Silicon Valley sun, has been busily deplatforming anyone to the right of Jerry Brown since Hillary's humiliating defeat in 2016.

Social media influencers like Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, etc. were widely credited with helping push Trump across the finish line. Google et al. vowed to never let it happen again. All of the above, and many more, have since been purged.

But pride cometh before a fall, and massive overreach born of pride is the Left's besetting sin. Good job, Big Tech. You've been so tyrannical, you've managed to piss off everyone from Donald Trump to Elizabeth Warren.

I want Alphabet broken on the wheel and the pieces mailed to each corner of the United States. Bring on the inquisition!

UPDATE: The Big Tech dominoes are indeed falling. Amazon is next.
Reports that the Trump Administration has launched a multi-pronged anti-trust battle against big tech, with the FTC taking jurisdiction over Amazon and DoJ taking on Google parent Alphabet, has sent Amazon shares sliding below their 200-day DMA.

UPDATE 2: Reader Man of the Atom sends a link to the Google Graveyard.

UPDATE 3: Add Facebook and Apple to the list.


17 comments:

  1. "That's not super surprising, since the FTC already had its chance to nail Google with an anti-monopoly probe back in 2013. But the agency came up short."

    Gee, you don't suppose that the fact that someone Big Tech really loved was in the WH had anything to do with the FTC not being able to close the deal do you? I mean it's not like the Obama administration had any track record for using government agencies for its political advantage. Nah, that's just crazy talk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Internal notes from the 2013 proceedings revealed that the researchers actually investigating the case urged that Google be slapped with antitrust action, but the FTC panel in charge of the case unanimously declined to pursue it.

      Delete
    2. To quote Gomer Pyle:"Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!!"

      Delete
  2. From a "man on the street" perspective, most people are happy (enough) with Amazon. They love Prime, they read Kindle books, they voluntarily have a Zon spy in their home.

    Of course, they're also happy (enough) with Google and Facebook even though they complain about muh privacy.

    My prediction is that the DOJ will go after Amazon since more people are less disgusted with them than Facebook and Google/Alphabet. Gotta keep that Clown World Train of Disillusionment going!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Approval ratings for pretty much every Big Tech firm except Twitter are through the roof.

      This is why 1) Direct democracy is a dumb idea, and 2) so is thinking the market can handle this problem. This is what government is for.

      Delete
    2. Amazon is also the one the tech companies have been quickest to turn on. If there's a sacrificial lamb, it'll be Amazon and its blog, the Washington Post.

      Delete
  3. "I want Alphabet broken on the wheel and the pieces mailed to each corner of the United States."

    C.O.D. No checks or money orders accepted.

    "Bring on the inquisition!"

    "Mr Brin, confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died for our sins, that He rose from the dead, and that He ascended into Heaven. No, you may not state that as a search query."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brian,
    I wonder if there's an ancillary drain the swamp move as it's relates to China. No doubt the DOJ is also looking into how much technologial nnvovations big tech handed over to the Chinese.
    One fallout will be Chona delinked from US trade and expelled from WTO based on the revelation.
    xavier

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be nice for every chip not to be made in China.

      Delete
    2. Brian

      Supposedly not. According to @BaldingWorld Huawei has lost access to some complex chips that only the Americans produce.
      Keep on eye on this Twitter feed. He has many interesting insights
      the anti monopoly investigation also has a Chinese/national security angle that many will miss out.

      xavier

      Delete
  5. There's probably a whole book here, but within 10 years, the Silicon Valley set went from "omg wisdom of the crowds!!1" (2006) to "censorship [blasphemy laws] + everyone I don't like is a Russian troll" (2016).

    The FedGov has other levers it can pull besides antitrust action, though that's an excellent start. These companies rely on Federal infrastructure for data center power, whether in the Southeast (TVA) or the Northwest (dams on the Columbia River). Wouldn't it be a shame if Uncle Sam pulled the plug on customers who engage in coordinated censorship and privacy violations?

    Google will probably collapse under its own SJW weight. Besides their utter disdain for users, as noted in Man of the Atom's link, their core products, Search and AdWords, get worse by the year. Listicles, low-grade "news" articles, and other Narrative-oriented crap dominate Google search results, even when using advanced queries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The House Judiciary Committee has now piled on, too.

      Delete
  6. Youtube just censored Chowder because Maza from Vox had his feelings hurt.
    I guess Youtube has basically begged the FTC and other to strip it of the 230 protections.
    Let's see how long the deep pockets last

    xavier

    ReplyDelete