Pluralistic: 29 Jun 2021


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Pluralistic: 28 Jun 2021


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The Doctrine of Moral Hazard

When it comes to self-preferencing, right wing economists are right: incentives matter.

A referee in a striped jersey extends his arm to make a call; perched upon his arm is a vintage newspaper political cartoon of Roosevelt as a trustbuster, swinging a club.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee spent 23 hours debating a historically unprecedented package of tech competition bills, surprising observers by passing all six of the legislative proposals under consideration, with bipartisan support.

Each of the six bills is interesting in its own ways — for example, the ACCESS Act (HR 6487) uses interoperability and standards to reduce the costs we bear when we leave monopoly platforms behind, by letting us stay in touch with the friends who stay.

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Pluralistic: 26 Jun 2021


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Pluralistic: 24 Jun 2021


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Pluralistic: 22 Jun 2021


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Pluralistic: 21 Jun 2021


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The EU, Tech Trustbusting, and Trade Wars

There’s a difference between protectionism and political will

The EU flag superimposed over a Matrix “code waterfall” effect; in the center of the ring of stars is a vintage newspaper caricature of Roosevelt as a trustbuster, swinging his “big stick.”

Competition regulators in the EU, the UK and the US are all looking hard at concentration in the tech sector, and well they should: an industry that was once hailed for its dynamism — for being a sector where yesterday’s world-spanning titans are sold for parts to companies that were mere napkin doodles a year or two before — has calcified into “a group of five websites, each consisting of screenshots of text from the other four.

The reasons for tech concentration are pretty straightforward. Despite a lot of fatalistic tech exceptionalism about “network effects” leading to inevitable monopolization, the actual means by which tech companies consolidated is actually easy to see in the historical record.

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