Friday, August 16, 2019
A Modest Proposal on Technology Monololies
Here's my $.02 on how I'd handle the situation.
First off I don't believe this is a First Amendment issue - I believe it is an Antitrust issue.
Nobody is forcing anyone to be on any of these platforms. It's a completely voluntary relationship. If YouTube decides to "deplatform" a content creator or take down certain videos - that's their choice. They own the platform and you've chosen to partake in their "free" product and services. (If they selectively edited your content or used it without permission or compensation - then that's different story).
Remember if you're not paying for a service then you are the product.
Personally I'd like to see YouTube decoupled from Google and Instagram decoupled from Facebook. The Instagram acquisition should never have been allowed under antitrust grounds.
I would then restrict any technology market leader (say any company controlling 75% or more of a market like Google with search engines and online advertising) from buying any companies (startup or otherwise) in that market space. It is the stifling of competition that is the real problem. Facebook may well have been a husk of its former self revenue-wise because of its ongoing privacy abuses if not for also owning Instagram. A deal like that never should have been allowed.
Any technology advancements in those market spaces would then have to be "homegrown". Force the big tech companies to remain innovators. Not deep pocket bullies who just buy the competition.
Acquisitions outside of the core competencies and markets? Like Amazon buying Whole Foods? That's something else and something that should probably be still allowed.