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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The DOJ comes for Google

It's about time. The heavy-breathers who have to keep actively reminding themselves not to do evil have had it coming for years. Let's hope that the DOJ isn't content with a Microsoft-style slap on the wrist and drops the full AT&T breakup on them:

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit Tuesday alleging that Google engaged in anticompetitive conduct to preserve monopolies in search and search advertising that form the cornerstones of its vast conglomerate.

The long-anticipated case, filed in a Washington, D.C., federal court, marks the most aggressive U.S. legal challenge to a company’s dominance in the tech sector in more than two decades, with the potential to shake up Silicon Valley and beyond.

At this point, I think it's safe to say that the days of the platform/publisher dance are numbered. And it's going to be hilarious to see Google's horndog lawyers trying to make the very sort of free speech arguments that their Trust & Safety teams consistently ignore.

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60 Comments:

Blogger RCR_Chris October 20, 2020 1:40 PM  

John Wright has an interesting take on this, being a (former?) lawyer.

His take is that even amending 230 doesn't go far enough since "At the moment, the courts have held that there is no right to free speech on a platform hosted by a private megacorporation."

http://www.scifiwright.com/2020/10/marsh-v-alabama/#more-26807

Blogger "William Berke" October 20, 2020 1:46 PM  

Free speech arguments in the Justice Department?

Speaking of social justice, is there any chance of you doubling down on your opinions about sjws and writing a self help book on how to properly not do business with them while explaining why in legal terms?

Blogger ThatWouldBeTelling October 20, 2020 1:50 PM  

Let's hope that the DOJ isn't content with a Microsoft-style slap on the wrist....

The DoJ earned that outcome by not going after Microsoft's really, genuinely bad behavior. While it was a stupid and not a good thing for the OS, making Internet Explorer the default was good because it had become a vastly superior browser while Netscape was doing the great rewrite of Navigator, the company by then led by executives of a failed company it had bought, for some odd reason they were better at corporate politics than the guys who built Netscape, browser and servers. (Eventually under a completely different organization that became Firefox, and it took little or nothing to convince people to switch to it as their default browser; my how things have changed with Mozilla since then).

And a lot of the case was just plain bogus, and as the appeals court noted, the judge and was so biased they removed him from it, while curiously still accepting many of the decisions he'd made, particularly findings of fact (which they normally aren't supposed to zap, but...). All in all, it was pretty clear Microsoft's real crime was not contributing enough attention and money to Washington D.C. in general and the Clintons in particular

A legit DoJ effort might have done better, and note how it was silent as Microsoft funded an effort to cancel Linux. The real message had been delivered....

Blogger Azimus October 20, 2020 1:51 PM  

AG Barr, strike home!

Blogger Wazdakka October 20, 2020 1:58 PM  

Free speech for me, but not for thee

Blogger OneWingedShark October 20, 2020 2:00 PM  

I'd love to see them beat down, not just with antitrust, but with RICO as well over their obvious H1B frauds and everything else that can be thrown at them. Destroy them utterly, and let them be a warning to all the other would-be mega-corporations.

Though, more realistically, the slap-on-the-wrist you mention is far more probable for the "to big to fail" corporations.

Blogger Shimshon October 20, 2020 2:01 PM  

Google responds as if on queue.

A deeply flawed lawsuit that would do nothing to help consumers

Blogger Unknown October 20, 2020 2:15 PM  

In in-houses will have very little to do with this. They may steer to the two or three firms who bid for the work, and have some input on the continuing budget...

But there will be a different firm who prepares the reserve estimate report, and then it is more a matter of accounting.

And three years down the road, after the fights over the subpoenas are over and the last disclosure release is done, the board can look at the political landscape then and decide whether to settle and for how much

Blogger RandyB October 20, 2020 2:15 PM  

FAANG delenda est.

Blogger jijijeac October 20, 2020 2:28 PM  

now if they would go after them for the "neutral platform" legislation they keep dodging

Blogger vanderleun October 20, 2020 2:37 PM  

DOJ to Google: "Don't be weasels." (and shatter into lebenty leben pieces and pay fines of quadrillions of smackolas)

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer October 20, 2020 2:41 PM  

One of the "libertarian" hosts on the local conservative talk radio station doesn't want government regulation of Google because "muh principles." I think I will call in and point out that breaking up AT&T was great for consumers.

Blogger Newscaper312 October 20, 2020 2:58 PM  

It's interesting how another "AT&T" arose from the ashes as busted up parts and some other corps M&Aed their way to another behemoth. But at least that took 40 years, and it's still not quite the dominant monster it was.

Re busting up the old Ma Bell AT&T, Jerry Pournelle used to seriously lament the loss of the old Bell Labs for deep, pure research. It wasn't like the generally useless academic kind just meant for the publication count and whoring the next grant, but the real deal. The deep pockets behind it meant they could do more bedrock advancement of technology, and not just focus on a particular product launch in a couple years.

Blogger Azimus October 20, 2020 3:06 PM  

Libertarianism works great for 400 benevolent geniuses living in a hidden valley in the mountains protected by a forcefield.

Besides, most of them are too stupid to understand that after a certain thresh-hold the difference between a corporation and a government is indistinguishable to the every day man who just wants to buy a cup of coffee and be left alone.

Blogger Trid October 20, 2020 3:11 PM  

I hear talk about reforming S230 but does it really need it? The law as written seems fine, but TPTB keep allowing the publisher/platform dance and not making the FAGs pick one and stick with it.

Time will tell, but I have a bad feeling that the (suddenly from nowhere) movement to reform S230 instead of brutally punishing bad actors is a trick.

Blogger bramley say Enoch woz right October 20, 2020 3:12 PM  

I hope they go the way of the dodo tbh.

Their stranglehold on the internet, alongside the malfeasance of Faceberg and Twitter, has pushed societal collapse into overdrive.

Blogger megabar October 20, 2020 3:13 PM  

The publisher/platform argument holds water to me. Google should be held to account for measured bias in search results, as they position themselves (accurately, I think) as a platform.

The monopoly one, less. While Google accounts do promote some lock-in of users between email, docs, photos, etc, there really is nothing stopping a consumer from going to bing or duckduckgo for their searches. Search is the only arena in which Google is dominant, and so I don't see much consumer value in splitting their other divisions off. While their are significant barriers of entry to starting a new search engine, other credible offerings do exist and are readily available to consumers.

You could argue that it should be easier to choose alternative search engines on mobile platforms and within Chrome, but I can't imagine that doing so will make any real difference.

Blogger Jehu October 20, 2020 3:16 PM  

So what does it take for the DOJ to destroy google as we know it? Presumably they have to win a case and then a series of appeals? Is it just a matter of what judges A, B and C say?

Blogger Hammerli 280 October 20, 2020 3:19 PM  

@3: Agree 100%. The real tell was Microshoddy strong-arming Apple into putting IE on Macs - or else.

Not to mention the tricks they were playing with file save formats. Around 1998, you could buy a copy of Word for PC, Word for Mac, Word for Office for PC, and Word for Office for Mac...and they defaulted into saving into four INCOMPATIBLE formats. Yes, there was a workaround - IF you knew to use it.

Microsoft got off - a competent, determined prosecution would have broken the company up.

As for Google...they have picked a legal fight with the man who picks the judges. Bad mistake.

Blogger Stilicho October 20, 2020 3:25 PM  

Ask a libertarian if he thinks Huaweii or Tik Tok should be regulated by US govt. If he says no, then he is a treasonous fuck who should be hanged. If he says yes, then ask him to explain how Google is any different. Being run by anti-American jews is no better than being run by anti-American Chinks and may actually be worse.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash October 20, 2020 3:32 PM  

megabar wrote:Search is the only arena in which Google is dominant, and so I don't see much consumer value in splitting their other divisions off.
Search users are not Google's customers. They are Google's product. Google sells online advertising, where they have an effective monopoly. It's not about you.

Blogger TheSavro October 20, 2020 3:36 PM  

Based on this article from the Washington Post it sounds like it will be a slap on the wrist:

"In bringing its case, the Justice Department did not explicitly ask a judge to break apart Google. Instead, it urged the court to consider 'structural relief,' which theoretically could include a requirement that the company sell a portion of its business and cease other practices that federal regulators see as harmful and unlawful."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/10/20/google-antitrust-doj-lawsuit/

Blogger Canadian Warlord October 20, 2020 3:36 PM  

If the government sues another branch of the government, who pays?

The taxpayers. The IRS will explain it to everyone.

Blogger megabar October 20, 2020 4:15 PM  

> Search users are not Google's customers. It's not about you.

Users are both customer and product. You can't discount that Google must provide value to users to retain them, unlike the typical product that is simply produced by the company.

It's also true that the majority of Google's ads profits come from ads on their search page, which would vanish if users stopped using Google search, which they can easily do.

Should Google be required to show ads from other ad networks on the Google search result page?

As for non-search ads, there are other ad networks both publishers and advertisers can use, and it's not obvious to me how Google exerts monopoly power there, beyond its scale. I don't claim to know if, legally, network effects are considered monopoly power absent other barriers.

Blogger FisherOfMen October 20, 2020 4:24 PM  

>Ask a libertarian if he thinks Huaweii or Tik Tok should be regulated by US govt.

I'm a libertarian. Libertarian companies (and people) should be treated with libertarian rules. Socialist companies (and people) should be treated with socialist rules and gulag.

It's the reverse golden rule. People do unto others as they expect to be done unto themselves.

Blogger Troy Lee Messer October 20, 2020 4:24 PM  

Premise #1 DOJ attorneys are some of the most corrupt cowards on the planet. want to keep all that lucre, prestige, etc.

the ones that arent on the take wouldnt risk their lucrative jobs only to be shut down in a Biden win.

This is another data point that the Trumpslide cometh

Blogger Emmanuel October 20, 2020 4:28 PM  

Sorry to argue from a leninist point of vue, at least on this topic. Who, whom ? Google betrayed America, Google as an entity deserves to die and be looted by the US trasury, or at least whoever can hurst that entity. Delenda est Google. Ideally the IRS should loot it (through a 999 quadrillion dollars fine). Otherwise, it should be annihilated, as well as its shareholders.

Like Imperial fascist Japan, Google initiated war on America and the American way of life. Like Imperial fascist Japan, it scored a few meaningless early vicories. Time for revenge, time for nukes. Death to Google, death to its allies, and more generally death to the ennemies of America.

Blogger Hammerli 280 October 20, 2020 4:29 PM  

@12: The "muh prince-pals" argument infuriates me no end. Politics is a practical business, and theory must give way to Getting Things To Work. I see it constantly with Second Amendment issues...an obstinate refusal to even consider extending Federal civil rights law to protect firearm owners, because of "muh feddel-ism".

@13: Dr. Pournelle was right about Bell Labs. They did a truckload of applied physics and electrical engineering work. The only equivalents were JPL and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.

Blogger ThatWouldBeTelling October 20, 2020 4:42 PM  

@22 TheSavro: "sell a position of its business" could be "break it apart."

Google only makes serious money in advertising; it'll be hard to separate anything from that and keep it viable, or separate that from the rest of the company and keep the rest viable. The new pieces could address some of that by cutting its notorious bloat, but that almost certainly wouldn't be done well, especially given its social justice convergence.

And there's of technical details: they notoriously run a "monorepo," a single repository with all their operational code. Plus a huge and famously low cost fleet of computers to run everything, also lots of fiber connections between their datacenters, and the rest of the world. Separating any of that will be ... fun. As it is, this in part is responsible for their constant killing of their products, the lack of modularity means it takes quite a bit of work to keep every single product up to date with the constantly moving foundations. The rest is that no one gets rewarded for doing that sort of work except for their blockbusters, you get rewarded for creating new products. Promotions are also governed by the insanity of stack ranking.

So the whole affair is brittle along many dimensions, it might take much less than you're thinking to deal it some serious blows. This being a lawsuit, fortunately the DoJ joined by a number of states so it'll be harder for the former to throw or drop the case, it'll be years before we see any results, but even the stress this will put Google (Alphabet) under will do it no good at all.

Blogger map October 20, 2020 4:51 PM  

megabar wrote:Users are both customer and product. You can't discount that Google must provide value to users to retain them, unlike the typical product that is simply produced by the company.

It's also true that the majority of Google's ads profits come from ads on their search page, which would vanish if users stopped using Google search, which they can easily do.


Look, this warmed-over nonsense needs to end. Sure, people could "switch" to other search engines, just like they could "switch" to other operating systems, but they don't. This is because the alternatives are not viable. No one is going to go from Windows to MacOs or iPhone to Windows Phone, or Office to Libre.

This is the essence of the network effect that leads to the regulation of the public utility. Network effects make "switching" difficult or impossible.

Rather than being innovative, in fact, Silicon Valley is basically an unregulated public utility, its "moats" being protected by a government exemption not allowed in any other context.

Blogger Stilicho October 20, 2020 5:14 PM  

Exactly. Google delenda est. Saying Google should be left alone because consensual is like saying Epstein should be left alone because consensual. The "product" in both cases doesn't have a meaningful opportunity to consent and Google is arguably worse because it also sells the "product's" personal info after they escape from the bordello so the johns can track them down wherever they go. Enticing the "product" into the bordello with "free" stuff is otherwise known as grooming.

Blogger Damelon Brinn October 20, 2020 5:31 PM  

http://www.scifiwright.com/2020/10/marsh-v-alabama/

That's looked like a no-brainer to me ever since I read up on it. As Mr. Wright points out, the courts have interpreted Marsh very narrowly in a few cases, but what's your shiny new conservative SCOTUS for if not to correct such mistakes?

These companies have set themselves up as the public streets and town squares of the Internet. They invited people to use those spaces, with free accounts and a hands-off attitude toward speech (other than illegal material) for their first years, when they still needed users. They also carry out "government" functions in these spaces, enacting the "laws," policing the space, and punishing those who break their rules.

The Internet was once the wild wild West, with very little censorship or even moderation. It's not that anymore precisely *because* these companies have become its governing bodies. They should be treated as such.

Blogger ThatWouldBeTelling October 20, 2020 5:31 PM  

@30 map:

megabar wrote:

Users are both customer and product. You can't discount that Google must provide value to users to retain them, unlike the typical product that is simply produced by the company.

It's also true that the majority of Google's ads profits come from ads on their search page, which would vanish if users stopped using Google search, which they can easily do.


Look, this warmed-over nonsense needs to end. Sure, people could "switch" to other search engines, just like they could "switch" to other operating systems, but they don't. This is because the alternatives are not viable. No one is going to go from Windows to MacOs or iPhone to Windows Phone, or Office to Libre.

This is the essence of the network effect....


What, pray tell, is the network effect of a search engine?!?!!???. Is there any less sticky application people use every day? I personally have found Bing to be about as good as today's pozzed in many ways Google search. Back in the day, I along with everyone else switched on a dime from AltaVista to Google because of the latter's vastly superior results. Today we don't see a stark difference, so inertia rules, not network effects.

Or maybe it's different for those who don't run an ad blocker and I'm missing something about the value each provide.

Blogger Dole October 20, 2020 5:43 PM  

Anybody tired of winning yet?

Blogger Akulkis October 20, 2020 6:05 PM  

"Like Imperial fascist Japan, Google initiated war on America and the American way of life. Like Imperial fascist Japan, it scored a few meaningless early vicories. Time for revenge, time for nukes. Death to Google, death to its allies, and more generally death to the ennemies of America."

And all the street-shitters in the Distrust and Danger councils be forcibly boarded onto planes heading back to Shit Delhi.

Blogger Newscaper312 October 20, 2020 6:16 PM  

@that would be telling
The network effect for modern search engines is the large user base, since the users selections of results are input refining the search algos. Much larger user base means better results, means more users. Analogous to the way the enough businesses using Office meant ability to share files meant more users ended up getting Office. Whether or not it's a directly visible to the search users, it gives a big edge.

Blogger Damelon Brinn October 20, 2020 6:45 PM  

While Google accounts do promote some lock-in of users between email, docs, photos, etc, there really is nothing stopping a consumer from going to bing or duckduckgo for their searches.

You're looking at it too narrowly. Yes, you personally can use other services. But what about communicating with those who use Google, or sharing your content with them? Google still handles 90% of the search traffic, so by blocking your site from their search results they can make you invisible to almost everyone who doesn't find you via word-of-mouth with a direct link. That's already been happening.

They could also block your emails from reaching any @gmail.com addresses or other domains hosted there. Now that many people are using their 8.8.8.8 DNS, they could block those users from reaching your site or emailing you. They aren't doing those two things yet that I know of; but the point is, if Google takes a dislike to you, their monopoly means they can effectively cut you off from most of Internet society, regardless of whether you use their services.

It's kind of like Ma Bell saying, "Sure, you can build your own phone. We won't send dial tone to it, but you'll have a phone."

Blogger Timmy3 October 20, 2020 7:26 PM  

Trump had better win. This goes away if Biden wins through voter fraud.

Blogger ThatWouldBeTelling October 20, 2020 8:19 PM  

@36 Newscaper312:

@that would be telling

The network effect for modern search engines is the large user base, since the users selections of results are input refining the search algos. Much larger user base means better results, means more users....


That's a valid theory, but for whatever reasons, social justice convergence, the shift to very bad management that started when Larry Page resumed control from Eric Schmidt, entropy, becoming just too big, Google's search results just aren't very good any more, unless you're looking for lowest common denominator stuff. Or at least that's my observation comparing their's to Bing's, which was a lot better when I first started using it a while ago, then degraded a lot but maybe not quite to Google's level.

So as I see it, in the real world, for results vs. not wanting to give anything to Google, it doesn't make much difference which you use. Which of course means few are switching to Bing, it's not like the 10X or better we all got when we switched from AltaVista to Google.

The term "network effects" usually means what you talk about WRT to sharing Office documents; for Google, substitute its adequate for many purposes office suite. And for example the widespread adoption of Chromebooks by schools, where it just plain works for students to type up various assignments in Google's word processor and then submit them directly to the teacher instead of printing them out and physically handing them in (more serious schools can also submit digital documents to anti-cheating systems, although I don't know if Google makes that easy).

Google indeed has many "sticky" products (ignore for the moment that their users are their real products), but based on my experience search just isn't one of those, at least not anymore. What you're referring to something that's akin to economies of scale, which in the case of search helps Google a lot because their spidering the web, their resulting search corpus, all the work they put into their search product, is spread across 9 times more users.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd October 20, 2020 8:24 PM  

Timmy3 wrote:Trump had better win. This goes away if Biden wins through voter fraud.
Dude, everything goes away if Biden wins.

Blogger megabar October 20, 2020 8:43 PM  

> so by blocking your site from their search results they can make you invisible to almost everyone who doesn't find you via word-of-mouth with a direct link.

There are two basic potential abuses: 1. Google suppresses content it doesn't like on ideological grounds; 2. Google leverages its reach to prevent competition.

I see evidence of 1, which I call the platform-vs-publisher issue. I see little evidence of 2, which is a monopoly power issue, with the possible exception of price gouging advertisers.

I think most here are angrier about #1, and I agree with them that it's a problem.

Blogger ThatWouldBeTelling October 20, 2020 8:51 PM  

@40 Ominous Cowherd:

Timmy3 wrote:

Trump had better win. This goes away if Biden wins through voter fraud.

Dude, everything goes away if Biden wins.


Some people like NY's black Dem AG will need to be told that, she's just said more state AGs are going to be joining the lawsuit. As long as the states have standing, it doesn't look like the DoJ withdrawing will automatically end the lawsuit. Resources, though, will be a problem, this is going to be a titanic knock down drag out if it's pursued to a proper ending.

Blogger Jack Ward October 20, 2020 8:57 PM  

I have been using google mail for a long while. If google crashes and burns, what of the mail? I know, should have found another, reliable mail engine long ago. Inertia. Any one got ideas? I may have go and do the divorce from google.

Blogger CM October 20, 2020 9:12 PM  

That's a valid theory, but for whatever reasons, social justice convergence, the shift to very bad management that started when Larry Page resumed control from Eric Schmidt, entropy, becoming just too big, Google's search results just aren't very good any more, unless you're looking for lowest common denominator stuff. Or at least that's my observation comparing their's to Bing's, which was a lot better when I first started using it a while ago, then degraded a lot but maybe not quite to Google's level.

This mirrors my experience, but I do a lot of lowest denominator searches. Current news and disputed history is better searched elsewhere than google. But sewing tutorials, code snippets, My Little Pony or Mario images (for kid projects), or video game related stuff gets better/higher quality hits on Google.

Blogger Timmy3 October 20, 2020 10:11 PM  

Like duh.

Blogger Up from the pond October 20, 2020 10:19 PM  

"No one is going to go from Windows to MacOs"

Best thing I ever did. Your point stands that there are herding tendencies among sheep, but why that fact justifies legislation is unclear.

Blogger liberranter October 20, 2020 10:40 PM  

One arm of the Deep State going after another arm of the same?

Color me skeptical.

Blogger SirHamster October 20, 2020 10:45 PM  

FisherOfMen wrote:Libertarian companies (and people) should be treated with libertarian rules.
There are no libertarian companies.

Blogger Valar Addemmis October 20, 2020 11:41 PM  

Jack Ward wrote:I have been using google mail for a long while. If google crashes and burns, what of the mail? I know, should have found another, reliable mail engine long ago. Inertia. Any one got ideas? I may have go and do the divorce from google.

Get a mail reader and make sure to keep local copies. If you have any reason to want privacy, you should delete old emails off the server since courts have ruled that under current law you have no privacy expectation in already read server stored emails older than 180 days (even then they have backups, but we do the best we can with what we can do)

Blogger Doktor Jeep October 21, 2020 12:13 AM  

Nothing short of irons and orange jumpsuits is going to amount to any real justice.
And if not under this system, then under the next.

Blogger Bezzle October 21, 2020 5:13 AM  

GOOG han't budget an inch in Wed after-hours trading or Thu pre-market trading. So far, the market is pricing fix-is-in nothingburger.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd October 21, 2020 8:55 AM  

Up from the pond wrote:... but why that fact justifies legislation is unclear.
Because it's a fact, and legislation should be in response to facts, rather than libertarded theories?

Blogger ThatWouldBeTelling October 21, 2020 8:56 AM  

@51 Bezzle:

GOOG han't budget an inch in Wed after-hours trading or Thu pre-market trading. So far, the market is pricing fix-is-in nothingburger.

It was widely rumored to be in the works, so some of it was already priced in. It'll be years before an outcome, so there's not much reason for it to effect their stock price today.

Blogger Rory October 21, 2020 9:30 AM  

NOTHING. EVER. HAPPENS.

Blogger Maniac October 21, 2020 10:55 AM  

I have to echo what Rory said above. Time will tell.

Blogger Valar Addemmis October 21, 2020 11:49 AM  

ThatWouldBeTelling wrote:@51 Bezzle:

GOOG han't budget an inch in Wed after-hours trading or Thu pre-market trading. So far, the market is pricing fix-is-in nothingburger.

It was widely rumored to be in the works, so some of it was already priced in. It'll be years before an outcome, so there's not much reason for it to effect their stock price today.


Institutional investors are all-in on Biden. Biden DOJ would kill the case.

Expect gradual devaluation tracking with the shift in polling numbers going on now towards Trump.

Blogger ThatWouldBeTelling October 21, 2020 12:39 PM  

@56. Valar Addemmis:

ThatWouldBeTelling wrote:

Institutional investors are all-in on Biden. Biden DOJ would kill the case.


Depends on how bloodyminded any remaining state AGs who currently are or will be parties to it are about continuing the case. They need standing; for money, they might find a competent law firm that's willing to do the prosecution for a piece of the action.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd October 21, 2020 12:48 PM  

Rory wrote:NOTHING. EVER. HAPPENS.
Gradually, and then suddenly.

Blogger OvergrownHobbit October 21, 2020 2:50 PM  

There are two basic potential abuses:

1. Google suppresses content it doesn't like on ideological grounds;
2. Google leverages its reach to prevent competition.

I see evidence of 1, which I call the platform-vs-publisher issue. I see little evidence of 2, which is a monopoly power issue, with the possible exception of price gouging advertisers.


Actual lawyers should correct me, nonetheless, I remember reading arguments about both the Ma Bell and Microsoft antitrust cases. (Which I opposed at the time. Mea culpa.)

These claimed that the relevant legislation covers the *ability* to do harm, even if that harm has not been done, or done very rarely.

Again, corrections welcome. Given that #1 (above) also proves the guilty mind, the justification for bringing the case is a no-brainer.

In short, it is about enforcing existing legislation, not creating new.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash October 21, 2020 3:20 PM  

megabar wrote:I see little evidence of 2, which is a monopoly power issue, with the possible exception of price gouging advertisers.
Then you're not looking. If you can price gouge, you have monopoly power. If you have monopoly power, you can exclude voices. Including voices of advertizers. Why am I subject to Epoch Times advertisements every time I look at a google property? Because Google has chosen to promote them to me. Who do they decide to exclude?
They are two faces of the same coin, and there is already a remedy under law for this.

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