Big Tech antitrust thread

jonblatho

Member
Aug 27, 2020
7
15
As has been well covered on MacRumors and elsewhere, antitrust cases against the big tech companies including Apple are heating up. This isn’t really meant to be specifically about Apple and Epic Games or any other specific situation, but I thought I’d post a thread for discussion of these issues as they relate to the tech industry more broadly.

This is an issue I care a lot about, and I’d love to see a more levelheaded discussion than one can find on MacRumors. Of course, I get that most of us are probably coming at this from the angle of Apple product users, if not Apple fans, but I’d like to think that most of us can set aside those feelings for an honest discussion on where things stand here. There are a lot of complex questions here, some of which might delve more into politics. I wasn’t sure which forum to put this in between Tech Talk and General Politics, so feel free to move it if necessary.

Some of those broader questions to start:
  • Are our antitrust laws equipped to deal with the tech conglomerates we have today, or are revised laws necessary?
  • Do the big tech companies need to be reined in at all?
  • Is it the government’s place to rein in the big tech companies, or are consumers powerful enough to vote with their wallets? Is there really anyone else for them to “vote” for? Can there be at this point?
  • Should platform providers be able to compete on their own platforms? (Think Apple competing in the App Store against Spotify et al.)
  • If action is necessary, which approach is better and where: Restrict or break up the big tech companies?
 

Alli

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 11, 2020
920
1,287
Some of the antitrust laws need to be updated. I think today’s massive conglomerates were as far from the minds of the men who wrote those laws as rocket launchers from the minds of those who penned the 2nd amendment.
 

jonblatho

Member
Aug 27, 2020
7
15
Some of the antitrust laws need to be updated. I think today’s massive conglomerates were as far from the minds of the men who wrote those laws as rocket launchers from the minds of those who penned the 2nd amendment.
That’s about where I’m at. I don’t think laws written a century ago could have seen monstrous companies absolutely dominating a purportedly competitive industry like Apple and Alphabet coming, and they probably have legal teams dedicated to carefully reviewing every move to ensure that they’re technically legal under our existing antitrust laws…while knowingly violating their spirit.
 
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lizkat

Site Champ
Aug 15, 2020
457
913
Catskill Mountains
I'm also not sure the original laws could have foreseen the rise of forms of capitalism that would come to favor acquisitions (along with outsourcing of research in some cases) rather than investment in R&D as preferred ways of "innovating" within any industry, certainly including tech but also applicable to segments of industry like pharmaceuticals, food science, etc.
 

DT

Site Champ
Aug 18, 2020
343
551
Good topic, complicated, I've got some thoughts, just putting a placeholder down :D
 
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