Friday, 11 December 2020


Much like the laisse-faire champion of free-markets who only thought it was the government’s place to intervene in monopolies when there was demonstrable consumer harm—never mind about democratic harm or erecting barriers to entry—the US judge and Solicitor General Robert Bork (and author of such titles as Slouching Towards Gomorrah) whose name became a verb for those (righteously) villifed and held to account by the mass media, the anti-social media conglomerate (previously) has finally generated enough ill-will to call to action the Federal Trade Commission joining suit with forty-six states attorneys general plus Guam and Washington, DC to get roundly borked and broken up.
Since the last times the American government was compelled to take legal and legislative actions against Ma Bell and then Big Blue, tech and telecos have seen few restrictions and rather nurtured and coddled to become some of the most powerful companies in the world. The FTC is charged with protecting consumers from cartels and monopolistic and monopsonistic practises and while perhaps a bit too timid over the past couple of decades, it has gathered up its courage and decided to push forward during this lame-duck session. Of course this corporate bully, armed to the teeth yet claiming it’s being undermined and unfairly assaulted—is formible with virtually unlimited resources to lobby, leverage the public (the fight comes to us too and we can continue to not dally in that walled-garden) and rail against regulation and dial-up the victimhood. These staid giants of industry are built on the model of suppressing or absorbing the competition and know no other route to success.