Tag Archives: Monopoly

Digital platforms—the new commanding heights?

The jury is still out on if digital platforms tend towards monopoly—and hence whether they need to be regulated tightly, broken up or replaced by state-owned platforms
By Niranjan Rajadhyaksha – Is the internet a private good, a public good or a club good? This technical question strikes at the heart of the regulatory issues that are likely to grow in importance as the digital economy expands in the coming years.

The distinction between these three categories of goods depends on two core underlying issues. First, does the consumption of a good by one person reduce its availability to others?

Second, is anyone excluded from using a good?

Why does all this matter in the digital economy? Regulatory economists are now grappling with the challenge of analysing dominant players in various parts of the digital economy. Think Facebook or Amazon or Google.

Their market shares in their respective markets would qualify as markers of monopoly in the traditional economies. Also, these digital companies have emerged as multifaceted platforms on which other participants in the digital economy operate. Economic theory suggests that such platform markets tend towards monopoly. more> https://goo.gl/rcTuPG

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Beware The Ghost Of Antitrust’s Past

By David Kully – The source of the increasing concentration in many markets, in the view of some commentators, was a shift that began in the 1970s in how antitrust enforcers and the courts view the role of antitrust enforcement.

At that time, economists in the “Chicago School” led an evolution away from concern about protecting small competitors from larger competitors to a current enforcement paradigm that emphasizes “consumer welfare” and calls for intervention by the government only if a merger or alleged anticompetitive practice is likely to harm consumers – through higher prices, lower output, poorer quality products or services, or diminished incentives to innovate. This shift, according to critics, made antitrust enforcers less likely to go to court to block large mergers or take on monopolies, with the result being the concentrated marketplaces we see today.

The nostalgia for the antitrust enforcement of the past, however, ignores important concerns about an approach predicated on attacking large firms merely because of their size. The evolution in antitrust thinking that began with the Chicago School was driven by economic research establishing that some mergers and certain practices that antitrust law previously forbade offer tangible benefits to society. Critics offer no countervailing basis to believe that these benefits would not be lost if we were to revert to past thinking. more> https://goo.gl/rt1ZSQ

Google Will Become Prey, Not the Predator

BOOK REVIEW

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy, Authors: Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson.

By Alex Moazed & Nicholas L. Johnson – Although monopolies get a bad rap, they’re not always a bad thing. In the short term, modern monopolies are often a boon to consumers. They bring valuable new inventions to market, and, in the case of platforms, they build new communities and markets that would not exist otherwise.

The downside comes much later, as the monopolist ages and starts to crowd out potential new competitors without delivering new value.

Although networks today do create the strongest and most defensible moats, they don’t create the same barriers to entry as past monopolies that required vast investment in physical infrastructure in order to succeed.

AT&T’s domination of the telephone industry lasted from the beginning of the 20th century until its 1984 breakup. Not surprisingly, in its later years, the company delayed or killed many important innovations in an effort to keep new entrants out of the market. more> http://goo.gl/eSffVH

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The crooked mirror of a media monopoly

neurope.eu – What then is a monopoly? A monopoly is a market arrangement precisely defined as featuring a sole purveyor who sells products that have no close competitor. A monopoly is the complete absence of any competition. The word has Greek roots that mean “selling alone”. This is the definition of the problem.

Publishers are also concerned about the fact that freelance journalists who represent nobody but themselves are attacking freedom of speech in Bulgaria in a campaign to discredit independent media, with only the Kapital circle media joining in. more> http://tinyurl.com/opxlvul

Is Broadband Internet Access a Public Utility?

BOOK REVIEW

In Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly in the New Guilded Age, Author: Susan Crawford.

Susan Crawford is the author of 'Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly in the New Guilded Age.' Courtesy of Yale University PressBy Sam Gustin – Should broadband Internet service be treated as a basic utility in the United States, like electricity, water, and traditional telephone service? That’s the question at the heart of an important and provocative new book by Susan Crawford, a tech policy expert and professor at Cardozo Law School. In Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly in the New Guilded Agereleased Tuesday by Yale University Press, Crawford argues that the Internet has replaced traditional phone service as the most essential communications utility in the country, and is now as important as electricity was 100 years ago. more> http://tinyurl.com/axrj95d

Lenovo To Release ‘Coffee Table PC’

By Peter Svensson – Lenovo Group Ltd., one of the world’s largest PC makers, is calling the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC the first “interpersonal computer” — as opposed to a “personal computer.”

At first glance, it looks like a regular all-in-one machine in the vein of the iMac: It’s a 27-inch (685.8-millimeter) screen with the innards of a Windows 8 computer built into it, and it can stand up on a table.

But you can pick it up off the table, unhook the power cord and lay it flat for games of “Monopoly.” It’s big enough to fit four people around it, and the screen can respond to ten fingers touching it at the same time. more> http://tinyurl.com/bh3mqy3