Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How Google and Amazon Got Away With Not Being Regulated | Wired

An excerpt from Tim Wu's latest book, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age
"In total, Facebook managed to string together 67 unchallenged acquisitions, which seems impressive, unless you consider that Amazon undertook 91 and Google got away with 214 (a few of which were conditioned). In this way, the tech industry became essentially composed of just a few giant trusts: Google for search and related industries, Facebook for social media, Amazon for online commerce. While competitors remained in the wings, their positions became marginalized with every passing day.

If many of these acquisition were small, or mere “acquihires” (i.e., acquisitions to hire employees), others, like Facebook’s takeover of Instagram and WhatsApp, eliminated serious competitive threats. In the 2000s, Google had launched Google Video and done pretty well, but not compared to its greatest competitor, YouTube. Google bought YouTube without a peep from the competition agencies. Waze, an upstart online mapping company, was poised to be an on-ramp for Google’s vertical challengers, until Google, the owner of its own dominant online mapping program, bought the firm in a fairly blatant merger to monopoly. Google also acquired Doubleclick and AdMob, two of its most serious advertising competitors. The government allowed the AdMob acquisition on the premise that Apple might also enter the market in a serious way (it didn’t). Amazon acquired would-be competitors like Zappos, Diapers.com, and Soap.com."
How Google and Amazon Got Away With Not Being Regulated | Wired

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