“As a former tour manager for Bob Dylan and The Band, Jonathan Taplin isn’t your typical academic. Lately, though, he’s been busy writing somber tomes about market shares, monopolies, and online platforms,” Paula Dwyer writes for Bloomberg. “His conclusion: Amazon.com, Facebook, and Google have become too big and too powerful and, if not stopped, may need to be broken up.”
“Crazy? Maybe not. Taplin, 70, author of Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy, knows digital media, having run the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California,” Dwyer writes. “Ten years before YouTube, he founded one of the first video-on-demand streaming services. He also knows media M&A as a former Merrill Lynch investment banker in the 1980s. He says Google is as close to a monopoly as the Bell telephone system was in 1956.”
MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, but why is Apple included in Bloomberg‘s article and subheadline (besides the obvious hit-whoring aspect)? Let’s skip to the Apple portion:
“Market concentration has many parents. One of them is surely the so-called network effect, a key antitrust argument in the Microsoft case. That doctrine says the more people use a platform—say, the iPhone or Facebook—the more useful and dominant it becomes. The iPhone, for example, is popular in large part because of the voluminous offerings in Apple Inc.’s App Store, and the app store is popular because developers want to write programs for popular smartphones. Network effects can create what Warren Buffett calls ‘competitive moats,'” Dwyer writes. “According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft made 436 acquisitions worth $131 billion over the last decade. ”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Okay, so Apple was included in this article and its subheadline in order to draw eyeballs, not for any other reason. Taplin’s book does NOT include Apple in its title. There is absolutely no basis for “breaking up” Apple that any sane person can formulate. Shame on Dwyer and Bloomberg.
Pretty much the same goes for Amazon and Facebook. What’s the legal basis for breaking them up? Where are they abusing their so-called monopolies? Monopolies are legal. Monopoly abuse is not.
Google, on the other hand has long been a different story. As we wrote in July 2016:
Imagine if your livelihood depended on one company that had not only monopolized web search (and, thereby, basically controlled how new customers find you), but also controlled the bulk of online advertising dollars which funded your business and which they could pull, simply threaten to pull, or reduce rates at any time? Now also imagine if you believe this monopolist basically stole the product of another company that is the very subject of your business? How much would you criticize the monopolist thief’s business practices?
You might guess that it would be a tough road to walk. (We’re only imagining, of course!)
That would be a good example of why monopolies are bad for everyone.
The U.S. government has utterly failed to police Google. Because the people with the power to do so currently are corrupt. Follow the money. Hopefully, the European Union will help to correct the situation.
In the meantime, stop using Google search and Google products wherever possible. Monopolies are bad for everyone.
European Union hits Google with record $2.73 billion fine for abusing internet search monopoly – June 27, 2017
Google could face a $9 billion EU fine for rigging search results in its favor – June 2, 2017
Google attempts to defend Android in European Commission antitrust case – November 10, 2016
EU alleges Google skews search results to boost its own products and services – July 14, 2016
EU charges Google rigs global market for Android mobile apps – April 20, 2016
The Android bubble bursts as Europeans flock to Apple’s iPhone – September 2, 2015
Android loss continues in Europe as 27% of smartphone users dump Android for Apple iPhone – September 2, 2015
Android fanboy actually uses an iPhone for 2 months, dumps Android phone – August 11, 2015
Apple iPhone sees highest switching rate from Android ever recorded – August 10, 2015
Nomura ups Apple to ‘Buy’ on strong iPhone growth, increasing Android switchers – July 31, 2015
Significant Android to iPhone switching weakens market for Samsung Galaxy S6 – March 24, 2015
Analyst: Android switchers fueling iPhone growth; Android users even more interested in Apple Watch than iOS users – March 23, 2015
Over 85% of new iPhone sales are switchers, mostly from Android – January 30, 2015
Google’s Android: The Fisher Price of smartphones, training wheels for Apple’s iPhone – May 2, 201