Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Apr 2017 22:36 UTC, submitted by Alfman
Legal

The original headline (I changed it) is clickbaity, but the article raises good points.

In just 10 years, the world's five largest companies by market capitalization have all changed, save for one: Microsoft. Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Shell Oil are out and Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon and Facebook have taken their place.

They're all tech companies, and each dominates its corner of the industry: Google has an 88 percent market share in search advertising, Facebook (and its subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) owns 77 percent of mobile social traffic and Amazon has a 74 percent share in the e-book market. In classic economic terms, all three are monopolies.

We have been transported back to the early 20th century, when arguments about "the curse of bigness" were advanced by President Woodrow Wilson's counselor, Louis Brandeis, before Wilson appointed him to the Supreme Court. Brandeis wanted to eliminate monopolies, because (in the words of his biographer Melvin Urofsky) "in a democratic society the existence of large centers of private power is dangerous to the continuing vitality of a free people." We need look no further than the conduct of the largest banks in the 2008 financial crisis or the role that Facebook and Google play in the "fake news" business to know that Brandeis was right.

Any entity which becomes a threat to the well-being of our society, our planet, or the people on it must be dealt with. I'm not quite sure if e.g. Google or Apple qualify for that, and if they do, how to deal with that, but I sure as hell do not wish to live in a society where any one corporation is more powerful than the people.

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RE[2]: People are crazy
by DrJohnnyFever on Tue 25th Apr 2017 03:02 UTC in reply to "RE: People are crazy"
DrJohnnyFever
Member since:
2012-03-07

And yet I still do 99% of all my shopping on Amazon and love it.

Some of you sound crazy. You complain when companies make "too much" money. You complain if they don't change enough money etc etc.

I can sort of understand complaining about your ISP being a monopoly. Or when in the US it was law that only AT&T could provide phone service or the US postal service providing crappy service but they're the only ones allowed to mail you letters.

But Amazon and Google? If you don't like them don't type Amazon.com into your browser. If you think Google is a predator quit using chrome and Gmail. You can't be anticompetitive in an industry you invented.

And don't act like you don't have alternatives. There are alternatives. The reason why the market share isn't evenly split between players is because some do a better job than others.

How about you all take your own advice. When people ask for recommendations don't recommend the best... Recommend the smallest or what you think is the worst. It will save humanity!

Edited 2017-04-25 03:03 UTC

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