Jan 17, 2018 - Technology

Big Tech doesn't meet a monopoly's key test — yet

A phone held in front of Big Tech logos

Photo: Damien Meyer / AFP / Getty Images

On the cover of today's Wall Street Journal, Greg Ip — one of the world's best economics writers — takes on the transcendent question, "The Antitrust Case Against Facebook, Google and Amazon ... A few technology giants dominate their worlds just as Standard Oil and AT&T once did. Should they be broken up?"

Why it matters: "By that standard, there isn’t a clear case for going after big tech — at least for now. They are driving down prices and rolling out new and often improved products and services every week."

  • The key point: "[A]ntitrust regulators have a narrow test: Does their size leave consumers worse off?"
  • But, but, but: "That may not be true in the future: If market dominance means fewer competitors and less innovation, consumers will be worse off."
  • Ip's last sentence: "Throughout history, entrepreneurs have often needed the government’s help to dislodge a monopolist — and may one day need it again."
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