Antitrust, Free Speech, and Amazon: Not all Monopolies Are Alike


Manage episode 296297471 series 2827076
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Big Tech has long since outgrown itself, America. And we have a push-pull relationship with the likes of Apple, Google, and Facebook. As much as we decry their monopolistic, First Amendment-crushing ways of shadow-banning and demonetization, we’re also helplessly tied to these giants to participate in the digital world.

The silicon quandary is two-fold, as the questions of Big Tech’s unchecked power invite antitrust monopoly-busting concerns along with the free speech argument. Enter the oft-maligned Section 230, an antiquated act that allows these platforms to skirt any responsibility for content moderation, as they’re just hosting the posts, not publishing them.

And there’s a further wrinkle in all this: Amazon. Bezos’ creation somehow skirts the definition of a classic monopoly, as the e-retail Everything Store does lower consumer prices and improve services, albeit at the cost of excluding competitors.

But there could be a shake-up soon in Silicon Valley. Biden’s appointed the promising Lina Khan as the new FTC Commissioner – think of her like Elliot Ness, but instead of going after Al Capone, she has her sights set on Mark Zuckerberg.

Columbia Professor John Coffee, an expert in securities law, joins Trish to stress the urgency of dismantling Big Tech while noting the legislative and legal willpower required to hold companies like Facebook and Apple accountable.

The two also discuss the EU’s suit against Google, the predatory practices of app stores, and why corporate crime so often goes unpunished.

53 episodes