Elizabeth Warren published an op-ed Friday to discuss something that’s really not any of her business, the title of which is: “Here’s how we can break up Big Tech: It’s Time to Break up Amazon, Google, and Facebook.”
Sen. Warren should go back to practicing bankruptcy law.
Succesful businesses don’t need her telling them what to do.
“Twenty-five years ago, Facebook, Google, and Amazon didn’t exist. Now they are among the most valuable and well-known companies in the world. It’s a great story — but also one that highlights why the government must break up monopolies and promote competitive markets.”
“In the 1990s, Microsoft — the tech giant of its time — was trying to parlay its dominance in computer operating systems into dominance in the new area of web browsing. The federal government sued Microsoft for violating anti-monopoly laws and eventually reached a settlement. The government’s antitrust case against Microsoft helped clear a path for Internet companies like Google and Facebook to emerge.”
How precisely was Microsoft “trying to parlay its dominance in computer operating systems into dominance in the new area of web browsing”?
By giving people software.
That’s not dominating anybody.
That’s just saying to the insanely large number of people who willingly pay you their own money for your software, “Hey buddies, here’s more software we made if you want to use it.”
Dragging Microsoft through court for adding more features to its software is a most brazen violation of the company’s creative and commercial freedom. It’s incredibly tyrannical.
It would be like a digital camera maker suing Apple, and dragging the company through court for “trying to parlay its dominance in smartphones into dominance in the new area of digital cameras.”
Microsoft was put on trial for having a lot of customers and giving them web browsers with its operating systems. How is that any of the government in Washington’s business?
That’s between Microsoft and its customers.
“The story demonstrates why promoting competition is so important: it allows new, groundbreaking companies to grow and thrive — which pushes everyone in the marketplace to offer better products and services. Aren’t we all glad that now we have the option of using Google instead of being stuck with Bing?”
But the federal government is definitely not the reason why Facebook and Google emerged.
This picture Warren paints of Washington’s anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft making Facebook and Google possible is completely false.
First of all, the government didn’t win the lawsuit with Microsoft. The initial ruling was overturned on appeal, and the suit was settled.
And Microsoft didn’t agree to stop bundling its web browser, Internet Explorer, with its Windows operating system.
Microsoft just agreed to share its source code for its browser with its competitors, which Microsoft was already making available to anyone who bought the software.
So the government did nothing. This is all easily-accessible, basic information about the Microsoft antitrust suit that Senator Warren references.
Which makes this a staggering level of ignorance about the topic for someone who wants to step in like a dictator and start dictating to other people how to run their own businesses.
Microsoft wasn’t standing in the way of anybody using a competing browser.
The reason Internet Explorer has only ten percent of the browser market in a field of many competitors isn’t because Bill Gates was stopping us from using anything else, but the government stepped in and got him out of our way.
That is a complete and total myth that Elizabeth Warren is spreading – a lie, in fact.
The reason more people use Google’s browser Chrome than Internet Explorer is that software made it possible for someone to create something in their garage as valuable as Google search and be in a position to compete with Microsoft in a secondary market.
All without Elizabeth Warren’s help.
The truth is Microsoft wasn’t an anti-competitive trust, and neither are Facebook and Google.
The reason more people use Google Chrome is that it’s a better browser and you can use Microsoft Internet Explorer to download it.
“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else.”
But big high tech companies don’t have any power that individuals didn’t voluntarily give to them for some value or benefit in return.
Big tech companies, their users, and their customers all maintain a mutually-beneficial relationship. If you don’t want a tech company to be a part of your life, you don’t have to be a user, and you don’t have to be a customer.
Warren’s mischief-making screed is like that of a Soviet intellectual inciting Russia’s lowlifes and riff-raff to become violent thugs to break up the Russian Kulaks’ Big Farming.
She wants to send federal regulators from the marshes of Northern Virginia to Seattle and Silicon Valley to tell some of the world’s most successful engineers and business people how to run a business that these busybodies from the bureau didn’t build, and obviously don’t understand as well as the developers and entrepreneurs who built it.
And these outsiders, these U.S.F.G. regulators, don’t really have a direct stake in these companies’ success. So why should anybody in these businesses have to listen to them?
This is America. So neither Elizabeth Warren nor anybody she commands has the right to involve themselves in the business of other people without their consent.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.