White House Mulls Antitrust Probe on Tech Giants

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Sep 23, 2018.

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  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Bloomberg has acquired documentation that suggests the White House is preparing to investigate Facebook, Google, and other tech giants for potentially violating antitrust laws. If the alleged order is signed, a variety of agencies will be called in to help “protect competition among online platforms and address online platform bias.” In a related story, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is calling on the federal government to break these companies up like Standard Oil more than a century ago.

    The possibility of an executive order emerged as Attorney General Jeff Sessions prepares for a Sept. 25 briefing by state attorneys general who are already investigating the tech firms’ practices. The meeting, which will include a representative of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, is intended to help Sessions decide if there’s a federal case to be made against the companies, two people familiar with the matter have said.
     
  2. Stimpy88

    Stimpy88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Here it comes...
     
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  3. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Oh my....best to not put all your letters in just one Alphabet.

    So...break 'em up and in 10 years, Amazon will own them all. That'll be good for consumers.
     
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  4. {NG}Fidel

    {NG}Fidel [H]ardness Supreme

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    Partisan as hell.
    Is this all the right can do now?
     
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  5. harbingerofdoom

    harbingerofdoom Gawd

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    if thats your only argument... you have no argument.
     
  6. harbingerofdoom

    harbingerofdoom Gawd

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    i am sure there are tons of examples of all of these companies engaging in antitrust activities.
    but..... and maybe this is just me..... perhaps before going after google facebook and amazon, we should go after ATT Comcast and the currently obvious monopolistic practices at the carrier levels so we can get some real competition and growth in that sector?

    oh wait, because they paid off our representatives already and the checks already cleared.... sorry google and facebook.... you appear to have not spent enough on purchasing politicians yet to escape.
     
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  7. RealBeast

    RealBeast Gawd

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    Nah, they're great at tariffs too. :(
     
  8. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Yup. Google/FB obviously didn't hold enough dev conferences at Mar a Lago.
     
  9. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    Well, politics aside. It's a matter of time, they get away with volumes of bullshit on so many fronts as it stands. The hammer with fall some day, they refuse to keep their houses in order without a vigorous beating.
     
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  10. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    About the second part,
    I can see Standard Oil being broken up as that was a commodity that people and industry required.
    Facebook, Google, etc.. are just services that you don't have to use.
     
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  11. seanreisk

    seanreisk Gawd

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    Google? Monopolistic? They're big, sure, but they aren't a monopoly, at least not in a way that stifles competition and forces you to use their product, and not in a way that can be easily 'broken up' so that people will naturally migrate to different services. They can't be a monopoly on the search engine, there are tons of those, they aren't a monopoly on email, they are big in targeted ads but I don't think they are a monopoly. I guess you could say they're a monopoly on Chrome books ... Android? Maybe? They aren't going to be able to make an argument to break up the Android market based on commercial adoption, at least not without breaking up Microsoft first.

    Facebook? The whole point of Facebook is that it's everyone all in one place (except me, they don't own me, their market value would go through the roof if I ever joined that goat-roping carnival and they know it, but their billions of dollars cannot buy my participation.)

    Amazon? Amazon has the smell of a monopoly. But so does WalMart.


    P.S. Ok, maybe Facebook has enough money to buy my participation, but only on my terms. I am my own bitch, and I dance only for me.
     
  12. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    We need a Federal probe into whether Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been secretly meddling with our elections.

    Or are mega-corporations allowed to do that?
    Because if they are, then financial disclosure rules for political campaigns are a farce.
     
  13. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel Limp Gawd

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    Break up google? How? Make 50% of the world use bing?

    I'm more curious as to what their end game is than anything else at this point. This sounds like creating an order you know will never be obeyed.
     
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  14. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ard as it Gets

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    Search is really the least of Google's business these days. If they were broken up I'd imagine Android would become it's own thing, Youtube might have to be spun-off (and then promptly die because that platform hemorrhages money like a broken dam), and possibly a few other subsidiaries of Alphabet.
     
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  15. bsbllclown

    bsbllclown [H]Lite

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    So lemme get this straight... Facebook, google, twitter and others are targets and somehow all these mega ISP/Media conglomerates are not... yah that doesn't pass the sniff test. Those mega ISP/Media companies control all the Content and all the delivery platforms and collude with each other to not compete against each other. Yet Facebook is one of the ones they go after... Remember Myspace anyone? Remember what happened to them when Facebook came along....FFS...how do these people get elected.
     
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  16. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

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    So Facebook, Twitter, Google, all group together and take down a bunch of hate groups sites and platforms because it’s the right thing to do. Less than 48 hours later the White House wants them all investigated...
     
  17. Taldren

    Taldren Gawd

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    Maybe they could copy the left some more?
    1. breaking windows
    2. burning cars
    3. megaphoning peoples ears that just want to eat or watch a show
    4. scream incoherently at the sky
    5. destroy: comic series, movie franchises, video game franchises, and now Linux
    6. Trapping people in their cars that are just trying to get to work
    7. going after peoples families and revenue for simply having a different opinion
    8. destroying entire college campuses
    9. ect, ect, ect.

    I am a Libertarian and I hate the current left so much that I will vote for Trump just as a middle finger to them. You only have yourselves to blame, yet I am sure you will reflect that on me and others like me somehow. Probably by some -ism or -phobia.
     
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  18. Oldmodder

    Oldmodder Gawd

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    So ? they are going to bite the hand that feed them,,,,, i think not.

    This are just to please the plebs.
     
  19. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Google returns results critical of Trump. The Washington Post post articles critical of Trump, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who also owns Amazon. That's pretty much the short and long of it far as the motivation. If they gave him positive coverage, this would not be happening.

    Doesn't matter, I'll take it. These are companies larger than many nations that should have had antitrust probe a decade ago.
     
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  20. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    One thing at a time, or do you think they can do everything at once?
     
  21. seanreisk

    seanreisk Gawd

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    _______________
    [______________]
    [___SOAP BOX___]
    [______________]


    Want a real crazy 'monopoly'? If you've ever looked at your credit report on Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, or used a credit grading tool like Kredit Karma or myFICO, they will show you your scores, the areas that make up your scores, and what you can do to improve your scores.

    Now, you would think that if you have no outstanding debt except, say, a car loan, that you pay your insurance and utilities on time, have a savings account with at least 3 months worth of funds, and you have no negative activity or past due accounts on your credit report, you'd have a good score, right? Wrong. At best, you'll only have a 'Fair' rating. Not Good, and certainly not Excellent. Why? Because you aren't using any credit. Evening owning a house with 10 years of equity will not bring your credit rating up to excellent without some reported 'credit'. And the credit they want to see is .... CREDIT CARDS. They want you to have an amount of available credit on credit cards equal to a certain percentage of your income. And you can't just have the cards, you have to use them. And you can't just use them and pay them off each month - YOU HAVE TO CARRY A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF DEBT ON THEM. This is the way that you move up to an 'excellent' credit rating.

    Why is an 'excellent' credit rating important? If you are purchasing a house on a 30-year, $240,000 mortgage, an 'excellent' credit rating will net you, at a minimum, a 4.6% interest rate with a 30-year payout of $443,000. A 'fair' credit rating will probably net you a 5.5% interest rate with a 30-year payout of $490,000, or even worse a 6% interest rate with a 30-year payout of $518,000. The differences are close to a years salary for a middle-income family.

    But the kick here is that you CAN'T get an 'excellent' credit rating unless you play their game - you have to accept their credit, and they advertise the credit cards right on your credit report, and they explain what you need to do and how long it will take to improve your credit report. The game is rigged - they control the reports, they determine who gets to have good credit, and they've decided you can't have good credit unless you're using the products of the companies that advertise and sponsor them.

    That, my friends, is a wild, wild, crazy piece of madness. It's not a monopoly, but it's something even more insidious.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
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  22. NeghVar

    NeghVar 2[H]4U

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    More companies are gaining some common sense though. Many companies used to blindly look at FICO scores. Now many realize that a credit score of zero means financially responsible. No debt. No longer a slave to their game. Yes, you do make sacrifices, but in my opinion, it is worth it.
     
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  23. Patton187

    Patton187 Gawd

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    I have watched the bias unfold. If you were on the right you would know this action is appropriate. You should know that you will one day be censored in such an environment.
     
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  24. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    Amazon should be included. Talk about vertical integration...

    Yeah its called math. They cant build a model to represent you with so few data points. A credit card, unsecured cash loan, and a mortgage are three different things each with different risk. You not having used any of them except a mortgage probably represent a risk to them because they dont know if you know how to handle them. So even if you're score was 800+ you would still have potential trouble opening new lines of debt in a different category. Go try and get some unsecured debt (i.e. a cash loan) and you will fin that if you never had one before even with a high score lenders will be wary to give ou anything but a small amount so you can "prove" you can handle that type of debt.

    Also as it was pointed out already its not just about the score. The score is ONE factor that is used in an interest rate and loan determination. Home location, amount of the loan, terms (i.e. length), and type of loan (i.e va, fha etc) and more all factor in.
     
  25. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

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    That logic, "...you don't have to use", can be applied to EVERYTHING. Did you need oil? No: you chose to buy a car and drive. Get a horse. (For Standard Oil.)

    Instead, a sector of business is dominated by a single player and that player has tilted the field. Okay, a legitimate role of government is to stop that behavior. Google has brought this on themselves.
     
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  26. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Been there, done that with AT&T. Current AT&T is basically the old Southwestern Bell, one of the 'baby bells' after the breakup of AT&T, that grew enough to buy the post breakup AT&T and a few other baby bells.

    Without arguing the merits of a breakup, unless you really have a plan for the post breakup reality, chances are you will wind up with a reformed mega corp even worst then the one you had before. The pre breakup company will usually, as part of the agreement to drop the anti beak up legal fight, get to dump things like pension plans, work contracts, debt, poorly performing parts, etc. Often, a lot of the benefits of a bankruptcy without the downsides. So the now smaller broken up company has mostly good parts with little debt. Let the buying spree begin.
     
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  27. HockeyJon

    HockeyJon [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yes and no:

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1HM0DR

    Ironically I found this on Google, but when you have a company like Facebook tracking non-users, you can argue that things are getting more than a little out of hand.
     
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  28. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

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    Like many, don't mind them doing this. Like others have stated, there's obvious agenda that merely coincides with greater good of the people. Meanwhile companies like Verizon and Comcast seem to get a free pass. Don't know enough to expand further but can't help but wonder about the usual suspects oil/gas and pharmaceuticals/insurance.
     
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  29. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    The important part is that it happens and establishes a modern precedent. Ive seen people argue that monopolies are required in todays day and age...utter bullshit of course.
     
  30. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj [H]ard as it Gets

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    The problem is how they define "hate group." Infowars is hate speech, Antifa is ok as an example. Their politics define what they consider to be hate speech.
     
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  31. I don't think breaking these companies up is the answer. Because you just have LOTS of small social media companies, all still JUST as biased, but who can now pull the "We got broken up! See! There's competition!" argument out of their asses.

    What REALLY needs to happen is some form of Internet Bill Of Rights.

    And back it by a fine structure that could, charitably, be described as "ruinous".
    Because these companies are so big, if they get ordered to pay out $100K, they'll laugh, pay the fine and keep going without changing a thing.
    Also, give these people the option between common carrier status and curated content.
    They can have one or the other. NOT BOTH.


    By principle, regulation is a Bad Thing.
    But leaving these companies alone is simply going to encourage these people to silence anyone who doesn't buy into their ideology.
    And it'll just get worse over time.
     
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  32. Raffin

    Raffin Limp Gawd

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    Exactly this! Lefty speech no matter how offensive is OK, but much that is conservative is blocked, deleted or shadow banned. A good example is many of the Dennis Prager videos being deleted on Youtube. His videos are definitely not hate speech in any way, but because they don't agree with leftist think they are banned. This is biasing a large part of the Internet towards leftism and there is no balance of views.
     
  33. purple_monster

    purple_monster Gawd

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    Prager was a big one that opened my eyes to the censorship problem. No controversial content, just not absurdly skewed to the left. Banning that channel was actually wrong.
     
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  34. Funny thing is Rockefeller made MOST of his money AFTER they broke up Std Oil.

    I could see Amazon being broken into two. IT & Hardware services and store. The store is essentially funding the first two. That would even the playing field a bit for those who don't have a store front to finance their IT side of the business.

    Google's Android would collapse though if search and data metrics can't be collected. The two cannot exist as separate entities IMHO. Google survives based on the data the collect on you and cloud services. And trying to separate the two can get ugly.

    I don't think Microsoft is the evil entity that everyone makes them out to be. While they do some slimey things (IE: practically FORCING people to upgrade to windows 10) their power and dominance in the market has severely waned on the desktop front as the majority moves to Android/iOS as their primary platform outside business.

    Apple will die. I think it's one of the biggest tech bubbles ever. They are abandoning the traditional desktop platform. Their hardware business (outside iOS) is in the $hitter. And I think they will collapse when people bulk at $1000 iPhones when they aren't seeing any benefits to the upgrade. They have a repeated history of this: Milking their fan base with exorbitant prices until their fan base even bulks at the mediocre improvements. (Although the iOS has been their longest running success, they are still niche and Apple is starting to show it's crack in it's support fan base.)
     
  35. GT98

    GT98 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Biggest issue is the "private" nature of say Facebook/Google/etc....you often hear about you don't have free speach on forums because they are privately run-violate the TOS and you get banned/tossed/etc-its up the the admin's whim for the most part.

    Not sure how you can legally enforce "rights" of people to be idiots (depending on your viewpoints) on your platform because of this. More often then not these idiots deserve what they are getting, but its being done by people who might have some sort of bent to their views and you wind up with things like Prager getting banned because they present a different viewpoint then the accepted "norm" in some peoples eyes.
     
  36. Seventyfive

    Seventyfive [H]ard|Gawd

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    I guess the question is: Who was partisan first?

     
  37. GT98

    GT98 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Huh? What alot of it boils down to is people are to the point they are established in an ecosystem (IOS) and the vast majority of non-tech people will not remove themselves from it because it "Just works" and they have $$$ invested in apps that can't be transfered to Android easily. Iphone sales have been more or less constant over the past few years and as long as Apple keeps getting those same people to upgrade their iphones every 2 years or so, they will keep making $$$.

    I used to switch between the two, but just decided to stay with the iPhone the past couple years because it did what I wanted it do without fighting with it and they seem to hold up better then the Android phones I had (though I never had a samsung)
     
  38. kju1

    kju1 2[H]4U

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    There is no free speech on forums, it is not protected speech. There is no right to it either so the answer is: you dont enforce it.
     
  39. GT98

    GT98 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Right, but basically you can use that for anything on the internet-that is my point-You don't have "free speach" and if your viewpoints are different-you can't share them.
     
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  40. cyberguyz

    cyberguyz Gawd

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    Is the front page news the right place for all this "right vs left" political banter? Is the kind of article that promotes that kind of discussion here appropriate?
     
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