In some sense, for example, back when Facebook bought Instagram, that was clearly an acquisition that lessened competition in the sense that both companies made smartphone apps that competed for a supply of time and attention and ad dollars.
But Instagram at the time had only 30 million users and barely a dozen employees. So did it substantially lessen competition? And while there is more to consumer welfare than price alone, in a practical sense, looking at prices which are obviously important and also lend themselves to being measured in an objective way has been the dominant strand of consumer welfare analysis. A few years back, for example, Amazon essentially monopolized the market for e-books. Major book publishers fought back by teaming up to take on the bigger company and the Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against them.
Well, Amazon was using its power in the marketplace to keep e-book prices low. The publishers, the government argued, were trying to form a cartel to force Amazon to raise prices. And, indeed, even though the publishers ended up settling with the government, the introduction of more competition into the e-book marketplace primarily from Apple has had the impact of making e-books more expensive than they were when Amazon ruled the roost. Back to Facebook and Instagram. At the time, few observers saw how significant this deal was. Soon after, Quidsi noticed Amazon dropping prices up to 30 percent on diapers and other baby products.
This began to worry investors, who became hesitant to put more money into Quidsi. And then Amazon ratcheted up the stakes by rolling out a new service called Amazon Mom that offered huge discounts and free shipping on diapers and other baby supplies. A few years later, the Amazon Mom program ended; a couple of years after that, the Diapers.
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Indeed, it arguably lowers them — at least in the short term. But, again, it is not harmful to consumers in any particularly obvious way. Apple, somewhat similarly, generates a steady stream of complaints from iOS developers about its App Store policies. But in both cases, vendors often feel the large platforms are so dominant that they have no choice but to participate on them.
Facebook, meanwhile, has been besieged by media complaints about privacy and fake news.
It was the Reagan administration that entrenched the modern era of price-centric antitrust enforcement as part of a generally business-friendly regulatory stance. Under George W. Bush, enforcement got laxer : Mergers like Sirius and XM in satellite radio and Maytag and Whirlpool in appliances were waived through. These proposals, turned into legislation by presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar , do not directly target the technology industry.
These moves would both dramatically expand the scope of harms that antitrust regulators consider and make life more difficult for merging firms by forcing them to prove themselves innocent rather than leaving the burden on the government. The implications of that kind of thinking for the five big technology giants is obvious.
But what the legislation actually does is change merger approval rules. In early March, Warren laid out a proposal that would lead to the breakup of Google, Amazon, and Facebook while imposing some significant restrictions on how Apple and Microsoft do business. Giant tech companies have too much power. My plan to BreakUpBigTech prevents corporations like Amazon from knocking out the rest of the competition. WarrenTownHall pic.
- The Souls of Black Folk, by W. E. B. Du Bois.
- Small Animal Toxicology Essentials.
- The American Journal of Human Genetics.
- Heart of Darkness: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe (Science Essentials).
- The nonsense of 'knowledge management'.
- Diableries (La Petite Collection t. 41) (French Edition).
One could, however, easily find flaw with this analogy. Warren-style platform neutrality might be closer to requiring that Major League Baseball be an entirely distinct business from its 30 constituent franchises rather than being controlled by them. The fact that courts have ruled MLB is exempt from antitrust law makes this a particularly curious example. So no Amazon Basics batteries in the online store, only batteries made by third parties like Duracell.
No Google Reviews of local restaurants on the search page, only search results for reviews by Yelp and other third parties. European antitrust law already applies something like this standard and has hit Google with fines for favoring Google content in Google searches. The fact that the impact on the two most valuable technology companies in the world was not something Warren explicitly noted in her rollout of the policy is perhaps a sign that her proposal is, on some level, more symbolic than practical.
The odds that the next president is going to push a major legislative reform of the antitrust process through Congress are fairly minimal.
And he or she will also appoint a head of the Federal Trade Commission. The next president will also appoint federal judges whose rulings make up the substance of antitrust law; a Federal Communications Commission chair whose work, while not technically antitrust per se, is relevant to the interests of the technology industry; and diplomats and trade policy officials whose work or lack thereof on behalf of US-based technology giants will make a big difference to their fates.
In that light, a relevant aspect of the campaign is the fact that while most businesses lean Republican, the behemoths of Silicon Valley have traditionally had fairly close ties to the Democratic Party. And the ties between the Obama White House and Google are almost too extensive to summarize.
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In short, the revolving door to Silicon Valley has largely displaced the one to Wall Street as the cash-in of choice for top Democrats. And as far as major industries go, tech is in some ways a natural partner for Democrats. That could specifically mean antitrust policy, but it could also mean a dozen other things, from higher taxes to more union organizing to rethinking the priorities in American trade policy. Juan J. Amit K. Shukla Manvendra Janmaijaya Estimating cement compressive strength using three-dimensional microstructure images and deep belief network Jifeng Guo Meihui Li Koffi Eddy Ihou Nizar Bouguila.
Xinping Xiao Huiming Duan. Liangxiao Jiang Chaoqun Li Harish Garg.
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A reproducible survey on word embeddings and ontology-based methods for word similarity: Linear combinations outperform the state of the art - Open access Juan J. Stefan R. Friedrich Michael Schreibauer Isidoros Perikos Ioannis Hatzilygeroudis. Jifeng Guo Meihui Li Most Cited Articles The most cited articles published since , extracted from Scopus. Eneko Osaba Xin She Yang Lay Summaries.
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