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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People are crazy
by DrJohnnyFever on Tue 25th Apr 2017 01:53 UTC
DrJohnnyFever
Member since:
2012-03-07

Or these companies could just close up shop and not sell you anything. Nobody owes you anything. Amazon doesn't have to sell you ebooks. They could just go away and sell you nothing.

Google and Amazon aren't threats they are benefactors of mankind.

If Amazon is the most popular book seller it's because people *choose* to by the most books from them because they are better than the alternative.

If you don't like Amazon write and print or email around your own books


Or better yet start a company to compete with Amazon and do a better job!

Instead of trying to break up companies that do mankind a massive service how about creating something to enrich mankind yourself. What an idea.

Edited 2017-04-25 01:54 UTC

Reply Score: -1

RE: People are crazy
by unclefester on Tue 25th Apr 2017 02:33 in reply to "People are crazy"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Or these companies could just close up shop and not sell you anything. Nobody owes you anything. Amazon doesn't have to sell you ebooks. They could just go away and sell you nothing.

Google and Amazon aren't threats they are benefactors of mankind.

If Amazon is the most popular book seller it's because people *choose* to by the most books from them because they are better than the alternative.

If you don't like Amazon write and print or email around your own books


Or better yet start a company to compete with Amazon and do a better job!

Instead of trying to break up companies that do mankind a massive service how about creating something to enrich mankind yourself. What an idea.


You can't be serious.

Amazon is the biggest book seller because it sold products below cost for many years. That is called Predatory Pricing and is illegal in most countries.

Modern tech companies have a policy of deliberately breaking the law to gain financial advantage. Then they buy off legislators to make their monopolies legal.

Edited 2017-04-25 02:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: People are crazy
by DrJohnnyFever on Tue 25th Apr 2017 02:47 in reply to "RE: People are crazy"
DrJohnnyFever Member since:
2012-03-07

You can't be serious.

Nobody is stopping you from buying an ebook from Bob's ebooks in Afghanistan.

Are you actually suggesting that Amazon is somehow hurting me by selling me goods and services at the lowest possible price in the most convenient way? Amazon has been around for 22 years. I keep waiting for the Amazon Primepocalypse.

Edited 2017-04-25 02:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: People are crazy
by kwan_e on Tue 25th Apr 2017 02:49 in reply to "People are crazy"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

They could just go away and sell you nothing.


No, actually, they can't. They, just like us, want to survive. But they need us more than we need them. If they go away, someone will start something new and better, and that is why they use their market power to prevent that from happening.

Instead of trying to break up companies that do mankind a massive service how about creating something to enrich mankind yourself. What an idea.


People have. Then they get bought (or sell) to the larger companies, which may or may not kill off what was started. That does not enrich mankind.

One may argue whether they should allowed to be bought in the first place, once one company is already too big. But they are already too big, so they need to be split up back to what they should have been.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: People are crazy
by leech on Tue 25th Apr 2017 02:59 in reply to "RE: People are crazy"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Well, in theory MS was on the verge of being split, then the presidency changed and somehow the whole thing magically went away.

I'm not really sure Apple should be on that list. What do they have a monopoly on, iPhones? Macs? They don't own a 'market'.

Google on the other hand certainly does, as does Microsoft. Microsoft would almost be out of the waters on OS, if Apple would allow macOS to be installed on generic hardware.

The root problem with monopolies is they kill off innovation. Can you imagine where the Internet would be if we still all used Ma Bell? Hell, as it is, it is taking the local phone companies here way too long to get their ass in gear to spread out gigabit.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: People are crazy
by DrJohnnyFever on Tue 25th Apr 2017 03:02 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

Reply Parent Score: 1