Tim Wu: The Curse of Bigness Antitrust in the New Gilded Age



Time f tech industry giants like Google and Facebook and the role Blue Streak of the law in preserving the very structuref competition Such an important and short book The Asketikon of St Basil the Great on the necessityf reviving ld school trust busting Wu does an excellent job showing what went wrong basically Chicago school econ and Bork He s absolutely right that the current test is meaningless and the modern tech and media behemoths are too large and monopolistic to be any good for the people and The People in the democratic sense As the ideological tectonic plates shift in America many apparently settled matters have become unsettled This creates at the same time both conflict and strange bedfellows though I suspect the latter will become used to each ther soon enough Such nce settled matters include hot button cultural matters like nationalism but also dry technical matters f little apparent general interest that are Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time of profound actual importance Among these are the place inur society Thoroughly Disarmed of concentrationsf economic and therefore political power the subject f the excellent Tim Wu s awesome new book The Curse f Bigness What Wu is hawking is Neo Brandeisianism and I am buying what he is sellingWu a Columbia Law professor and sometime unsuccessful reformist Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor After the Ashes of New York writes mostlyn the intersection The Angry Planet of technology and socialrganization His most recent earlier book The Attention Merchants focused Melody's Key on the downsidesf advertising in the modern world especially as mediated by the Lords f Tech That book ffered measured practical ways to address the problems identified which seems to be a Wu specialty This book focuses A Chance Acquaintance on economic concentration through its legal treatment under antitrust law for the pastne hundred and thirty yearsThe Curse f Bigness is a short and punchy work Wu is an utstanding writer Woven throughout a history f antitrust are Wu s wn insights and The Wallflower's Revenge opinions which he caps with specific and well thoughtut solutions The core argument f this book is that for the past several decades antitrust law has become effectively neutered administered not at all in the manner its riginal nineteenth century drafters intended Instead antitrust law has lately refused entirely to recognize the extremely pernicious societal effects War to the Knife: Bleeding Kansas, 1854-1861 of economic concentration even though it was designed by Congress to address precisely those effects For my money Wu is rightn target and just as importantly he provides building blocks for the political realignment in which social conservatives are aligning with economic liberals against the neoliberalcorporatist eliteWu begins with the pre antitrust era when men such as J P Morgan and John D Rockefeller created massive enterprises as the United States industrialized using grit along with bribes and coercion to build their concerns These men who created various giant trusts a legal device for holding companies thought that monopoly is awesome and competition is ruinous for both business and society Instead they could and should be relied upon to innovate lower prices and generally benefit everyone along with themselves As the author notes today Peter Thiel pushes this same line which has worked very well for him Wu analyzes this as a form Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World of Social Darwinism closely tied to eugenics Rockefeller gave millions to sterilize the unfit The weak the small and theld fashioned businesses were all being swept away For some this purge displaced not just ld ways and inefficient businesses but Christianity as well with its regard for the disadvantaged and insistence n humility before God Modern conservatives have too ften failed to appreciate the long term effects f worship Introductory Algebra: Models Concepts Skills of monopoly and conseuent economic concentration and that the logical endf this Ayn Rand s Objectivism is a very very bad prescription for a flourishing humanity whatever its theoretical appealOne hundred and thirty years ago though Congress was not the do nothing group Marriage After God: Chasing Boldly After God’s Purpose for Your Life Together of shambling cretins it is now it was filled withr at least led by serious men who took their responsibility f governing seriously Thus in 1890 due to concerns about these and many ther trusts which collectively dominated all relevant industry we got the Sherman Act which to this day Blue Blood on its face absolutelyutlaws all actions in restraint The Gollywhopper Games: Friend or Foe of trade as well as any monopolyr attempts to monopolize You ask then why are restraints Parafilias (Spanish Edition) of trade and monopolies all around us Don t worry Tim Wu has arrived to tell you why clearly and succinctlyBefore we get there though Wu takes a detour to lay the groundwork for his preferred philosophical position While this is a book about what the law is it is just as much about what the law should be Wu s avatar is Louis Brandeis who servedn the Supreme Court from 1916 to 1939 Brandeis grew up in Louisville when flyover country mattered He became a business lawyer for some decades and It's Like This observed first hand the growthf the trusts at the end The Mirage of the nineteenth century and the beginningf the twentieth unhampered by the Sherman Act which was treated as merely hortatory Brandeis saw the trusts destroy small businesses corrupt politics and not in fact ffer the efficiencies and benefits they claimedI ve never really had much use for Brandeis his association with the destructive Progressive movement and his use f so called social science to decide strictly legal uestions thereby involving judges as ideological advocates in a legislative role and paving the road to the modern disastrous living Constitution always left a bad taste in my mouth But Wu makes a good case that Brandeis s philosophy as it relates to economic concentration totally aside from constitutional law is both unanswerable and necessary for today Like Theodore Roosevelt Brandeis is someone whom today s conservatives should at least partially embrace rejecting country club Republicans who prostitute themselves cheaply to the neoliberal elite If Brandeis had a unifying principle politically and economically it is that concentrated power is dangerous that institutions should be built to human scale and society should pursue human ends Every institution public and private runs the risks Rituels secrets des Templiers of takingn a life f its wn putting its A Mild Suicide own interests above thosef the humans it was supposedly created to serve It should most definitely not be the role Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet of judges to impose theirwn values against the expressed will Born to Ride: A Story About Bicycle Face of the legislature but as Wu notes Brandeis s philosophy here wasr less the Origen: Scholarship in the Service of the Church original legislative theory behind the Sherman Act and subseuent lawsUsing Brandeis as his foundation Wu is explicit about what he wants to build This book aspires to resurrect and try to renovate the lost tenetsf the Brandeisian economic vision It envisions a vigorous healthy economy a skepticism f the self serving rhetoric projecting the romance f big business r the inevitability f monopoly and above all a sensitivity to human ends As presented by Wu Brandeis was profoundly conservative Porter Earns a Quarter (Four Basic Skills Series, Volume 2) or would be today if placed next to today s Left For him the very purposef life was the building Mayan, Incan, and Aztec Civilizations, Grades 5-8 of good character and the developmentf self The ideal Tablettes Albertini Actes privés de l'époque vandale of democracy hence said should be the development f the individual for his wn and the common good Not for Brandeis the modern progressive goal Sexual Soulmates: The Six Essentials for Connected Sex (English Edition) of ever emancipation from unchosen bondsf autonomic individualism enforced and empowered by the government His goal was not gaining everyone atomized freedom as the Left pushes today it was ffering freedom in the Aristotelian sense what was until recently the universal sense in the West the freedom to choose rightly To make that choice possible everyone had to have Wu summarizes sufficient liberties and adeuate support to live meaningful fulfilling lives Neither the government nor private enterprise should stifle pportunities for thriving and life Economic concentration monopoly was the Piazza, Student Edition: Introductory Italian originf much such stifling because it allowed big impersonal impervious businesses to dictate to both workers and consumersI uibble with Wu in that without discussion several times he casually euates this set Unbroken Circle: How to Take Your Family Through the End Time of goals with democracy Democracy may be a goal in thatne could argue though neither Wu nor in his telling Brandeis does so argue that democracy enhances the first rder goals f sufficient liberties and adeuate support to live meaningful fulfilling lives At most though that makes democracy a second rder goal and there is little evidence that modern democracy is necessary to achieve the first rder goal Still Wu makes a good case that economic concentration in any society threatens the first rder goal which is the point f the bookBrandeis wasn t the Tajweed Rules for Qur'anic Recitation: A Beginner's Guide (Tajweed Rules, one who resuscitated the moribund Sherman Act though He just acts as Wu s philosophical lodestar It was Theodore Roosevelt who did that seeing trusts as corrupting America and failing to curb them as leading to social unrest and even Communism The problem Roosevelt identified was that the private power trusts represented even though as he pointedut they were creatures Selling to VITO the Very Important Top Officer: Get to the Top. Get to the Point. Get to the Sale. of the State was easily transmuted into massive political power Roosevelt s intuitivebservation was later given heft by Mancur Olson s mid century work in public choice theory which compellingly demonstrated that motivated small groups with money could achieve disproportionately favorable governmental results through the magic The Reformation (World History Series) of collective inaction This effect is exacerbated by concentration an industry withnly a few players even if they are bona fide competitors can easily coordinate actions for the benefit f all f them to extract rents from the rest Ask Me Nicely: Dark Urges Book One of society where a less concentrated industry would be unable to herd enough cats to achieve the same goal The losers are the great majorityf people who have neither the money nor the individual incentive to Date With A Dead Doctor organize inpposition so in Roosevelt s and Wu s thinking that s where the government comes inIn 1902 Roosevelt attacked J P Morgan s railroad trust an action upheld in the Supreme Court s Northern Securities decision Then starting in 1906 he broke up Rockefeller s Standard Oil again supported by the Supreme Court which began putting together the Signs in the Heavens: A Jewish Messianic Perspective of the Last Days Coming Millennium outlinesf a legal standard not found in the ultra broad language Daddy Lost Me At Poker (Eroticulture) (English Edition) of the Sherman Act that held thatnly unreasonable restraints Orb: A Tale of Alien Pregnancy of trader monopoly were illegal What is unreasonable therefore became the interpretive key to antitrust law in the following hundred years Roosevelt himself later when ut f power turned to corporatism where it is held that giant companies are good and competition bad if the companies work hand in glove with the government hello Mussolini but in his earlier years worked tirelessly to ensure competition and smallness at the expense Dear Chandler, Dear Scarlett: A Grandfather's Thoughts on Faith, Family, and the Things That Matter Most of bigness and he is thus the prototypef what Wu thinks should be the proper executive approach to antitrust lawWu uses the Standard Oil case to frame what he thinks is the core uestion in antitrust law is monopoly Asesinato en una Lavandería China (Fondo Editorial Tierra Adentro or broadly economic concentration merely evidencef efficiency spreading benefits for all Or is it a form f anti majoritarian and anti human flourishing power where monopolistic producers use their economic and ther power to keep ut new entrants and reduce innovation and consumer choice while def. Ma and big tech just to name a few But concern ver what Louis Brandeis called the curse Beyond Time Travel - Exploring Our Parallel Worlds: Amazing Real Life Stories in the News (Time Travel Books Book 1) of bigness can no longer remain the provincef specialist lawyers and economists for it has spilled Boarding House of Hunks over into policy and politics even threatening democracy itself History suggests that tolerancef ineuality and failing to control excessive corporate power may prompt the rise f populism nationalism extremist politicians and fascist regimes In short as Wu warns we are in grave danger f repeating the sig.

Tim Wu s The Attention Merchants is Bec (The Demonata, one my most favorite books read to daten the media industry and as a result I have vowed to keep abreast The Further Mishaps of Charlie Chumpkins of everything he writes The Cursef Bigness is his most recent and like his ther books is extremely well written full f persuasive arguments and historical context and also a pleasure to read But something is amiss The book s premise is to make sense f the growing income ineuality in the US and points to the trend towards industrial concentration ver the past 20 years as ne f the leading causes Interesting thesis but unfortunately the book lacks any proof This is a major Our Planet: Our Home omission and a curiousne mostly because he does such a good job referring to many Kakoong, Pahlawan Pulau Awan Vol. 8 of the great legal and economics minds to lay the foundation for his arguments As a result while The Attention Merchantsozes with substance and can lay claim to being a definitive history f advertising in the US I fear that this book will be judged as f a lightweight effort A short book about the seemingly dry subject Journeys of Frodo: An Atlas of J.R.R.Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings of antitrust that revealed itself instead to be urgently important and incredibly readable to me as a layman in the area Wu s brief historyf antitrust s rigins and strong enforcement in the early to mid 20th century is informative and compelling but even so I enjoyed his detailed recommendations for how and why we should now return to that tradition in the early 21st centuryIn light f the increasing economic anxieties that currently dominate politicalsocioeconomic discussions Wu argues for an alternative to two ther popular ideas for solving capitalism s current ills Where the far right seems to believe purely unregulated free market capitalism will be the cure and the far left has re popularized rejecting capitalism entirely for socialism Wu argues for re acknowledging antitrust s riginal goals and again returning its early regulatory strength and will to be enforcedWu s argument could be lazily framed as the bvious moderate compromise between the two ther radical viewpoints mentioned above but I don t think his position gains any inherent worth simply from fitting in the middle f a US centric ideological mapping Nonetheless I found many f his points persuasive and I enjoyed the passionate and well supported argument he formed from them particularly since so many centrist A Stepdaughter In Heat (Daddy Daughter Sex Stories) op ed arguments right now are unconvincing and lifeless promotionsf an unsustainable status uo I remember going to the House Judiciary Committee created Antitrust Modernization Commission s sole public interest hearing in DC There was hardly anyone who wasn t a lobbyist r industry friendly regulator in the room The panel and the presentations were all made by corporate lawyers When the floor was pened up for public comment I asked why there were no public interest representatives from for example consumer groups after all modern antitrust doctrine has narrowed the uestion down to price theory and consumer harm r labor unions r family farmers In the End or small businessesMy uestion was received with an incomprehensible blank stare then a response delivered by the chair wo reference to who had raised the uestion Which was something like this As for the uestionf balance this panel is clearly balanced We have representatives chosen by both Democratic and Republican members f the committee In ther words both Democrats and Republicans had an pportunity to pick K Street lawyers represented here If you think the differences are significant you should look at how much the big banks and companies like Google Facebook Apple give to both Democrats and Republicans Along with Pharma Big Ag the Weapons Cartel ChemicalSeed Mfrs etc The AMC s final report can be found here btw There s clearly a need for popular understanding f the importance f real fundamental reform in how antitrust laws are interpreted and enforced People know this thousands f farmers turned ut for field hearings held by the DoJ s antitrust division held at the start f the Obama administration s first term but nothing substantial came f it They know that the economy has become concentrated in few hands driving both ineuality and a dangerous concentration f political power in the hands The Age of Treachery of plutocrats And that reality has been confirmed repeatedly by various studies See for example the references to economist Gustavo Grillon who found that 75 percentf industries witnessed increasing concentration between 1997 and 2012 as well as the Council f Economic Advisers report to the president Benefits f Competition and Indicators The Catcher in the Rye and Philosophy of Market Power The problem extends far beyond Wal Mart and Too Big to Fail banks Another stark example is beer Justne company sold 70% Seven Sisters New Quilts from an Old Favorite of all non craft beer in the US in 2017 Remember when Anheuser Busch renamed Budweiser America after they were bought by the Belgian In Bev As Wu pointsut the conseuences Bike Mechanic: Tales from the Road and the Workshop (Rouleur) of market concentration are not merely economic power and control they are also political and threaten Democracy itself A famous studyf nearly 1800 policy decisions by Gilens and Page found that none went in favor f public interest groups leading them to conclude that by formal standards f political science the US has become an When a Man Loves a Woman oligopoly An example that sticksut to me is the fact that between them Facebook and Google took in 75% f all nline ad revenues Keep From Falling outsidef China in 2017 FB and Google are platforms they don t generate Catalogue the Insanity original contentr employ investigative journalists The implications for democracy are evident in the spread Blessed Homecoming of fake news Wu s book is the best introduction to Antitrust law and history that I know I ve been waiting for a book that could explain in accessible terms for non lawyers like me why antitrust law matters and how we went from having a trust busting President to seeing the law get Borked by the Uf Chicago and its moderate followers at Harvard whose doctrines reduced the Sherman and Clayton Acts interpretation down to narrow uestions Shrek of price theory and consumer harm btw If you re interested in tracking these issues closely I recommend Two groups the American Antitrust Institute and the Open Markets Institute Ralph Nader also had a great conferencen the myths f market fundamentalism a few months ago the recording is posted at CSRLorg The growth f activity by these and Look Alikes Jr. other groups is a good sign There are helpful references throughout for those who want to dig deeper But start with The Cursef Bigness if you re looking for something akin to Antitrust for Dummies Wu puts it plainly and clearly we must control economic structures before they irreversibly control us The second book in a week I have read about the necessity f Antitrust and the danger f large Monopolies and Architecture for the Shroud: Relic and Ritual in Turin oligopoliesn Collecting and Exhibiting Computer-Based Technology: Expert Curation at the Museums of the Smithsonian Institution our democracy Again wisdom gained in the early twentieth century forgotten and a return to a new gilded age and probably worse if things keep going this way Antitrust is an important tool to break up concentrationsf wealth and power Monopolies are deadly to liberal democracy As are He Remembers the Barren other things Monopoly is a monster with many faces You can thinkf it as a structural pillar The Early Girl Gets the Blood Wolf of the kindf politics we rejected in the forties and the late eighties you can look at it from the angle Diary of a Library Nerd: An Erotic Diary of One Woman's Metamorphosis of the businessmanr the consumer The Stonemere Park Breast Essays: From The L.C.T.F. Archives or you can take the legal angleIn this 120 page monograph which is decidedly not cursed by bigness author Tim Wu gives a thorough and entertaining historyf the legal aspects Let the Wolf Howl of anti trust from 1890 to today You get flattering but not fawning profilesf the main protagonists like Teddy Roosevelt and Louis Brandeis and a slightly less reverential look at Robert Bork whom like the author I first heard The Resistible Rise Of Benito Mussolini of as partf the block Bork movement when I was an undergradIn short the very broadly written 1890 Sherman Act was riginally left alone but the assassination f McKinley set in motion the forces for it to be interpreted Tim Wu choses the word activated by Trustbuster Teddy Roosevelt as a warrant to battle men who had become powerful than the government they were meant to answer to starting with an anti JP Morgan campaign in the Northern Trust case and moving Blue Guide New York on to JD Rockefeller s Standard Oil The point is made that the law was interpreted and reformulated via the Clayton Actf 1914 to view not nly monopoly but also scale as the enemy r so the author argues at any rate A further point that is made p 77 that the FTC was established to investigate and bring suit against any unfair methods Homesick of competition And the historical context is given that the American way competition was very distinct from the methodsf totalitarians A Criminal Affair of both the right and the left what with both Germany and Russia in essence seizing the meansf production with the intent Sangue Derramado of reaping the returns to scale and putting them at the disposalf the people The scene is set from there to move to the newer consumer welfare standard introduced and pushed through by Robert Bork initially in response to what at the time was considered ver reach n the part f what had in the meantime become the anti trust establishment but also due to a uirk that nly had a chance f being relevant in times f relative prosperity the fact that judges find it much easier to apply a simple criterion than make pronouncements n the bigger issues f right and wrong To wit despite the robes and bench judges are still lawyers and can become anxious when asked to decide complex and challenging cases Bork ffered a calming remedy with an appealing simplicity and apparent rigor p 91This line is probably the biggest contribution f this mischievous little book From there Tim Wu moves Confessions of a Teenage Hollywood Star on to 1 discredit the notion that anybody let alone a judge can seriously believe he can measure consumer welfare any better than he can make pronouncementsn what s fair2 deplore the disastrous results Precious Stones: Their Occult Power and Hidden Significance of Bork s victory and layut the example The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky of the damage inflicted todayn competition and consumer welfare by the big tech trusts3 argue very persuasively that a number f cases such as ATT IBM and Microsoft were triumphs from a consumer welfare perspective regardless f whether they were won Works Days or lost4 set a neo Brandeisean agenda for the futureIt s a narrow book and I in particular feel the legal legislative angle is the hardest and most radicalf ur choices when it comes to ne day defeating the spiritual successors to JP Morgan and JD Rockefeller We could get them to pay tax where they sell we could change a tax regime that strongly favors leveraged financing nly the big can borrow in scale and we could make it illegal for asset managers to wn than Heart of the Wood one player in any industry That would stop the formationf new trusts in its tracks leaving us to deal with breaking up the already existing The King's Commissar ones atur leisureBut The Curse Bloodmage of Bigness does not pretend to be a broad book it s a monographn the legal aspects f ur fight against monopoly and bigness A tremendous Thinking Through Food: A Philosophical Introduction one Once upon a time in the 1990s and 2000s the Web and the Internet were new and everything was going to be different forever Very comprehensive and consise suitable for non experts to understand the history and developmentf American antitrust law and policy from the breakup Making Instruments Count: Essays on Historical Scientific Instruments Presented to Gerard L'Estrange Turner of the first trustsf Rockfeller and Morgan to the. Persuasive and brilliantly written the book is especially timely given the rise Every Sigh, the End of trillion dollar tech companies Publishers Weekly From the man who coined the term net neutrality authorf The Master Switch and The Attention Merchants comes a warning about the dangers The Secret Language of Competitive Intelligence the Secret Language of Competitive Intelligence of excessive corporate and industrial concentration forur economic and political futureWe live in an age f extreme corporate concentration in which global industries are controlled by just a few giant firms big banks big phar.

Orming the political process in myriad ways even if sometimes they also reduce consumer prices Here Wu ffers a range f ften forgotten basic economics including that diseconomies Quest for Celestia: A Reimagining of the Pilgrim's Progress of scale are just as real as economiesf scale so bigger is not necessarily better and that the agency problem the separation f wnership and control freuently means decisions are made to build empires for management rather than in the best interest f stockholders much less consumers Size is closely correlated with crony capitalism and rent seeking at the expense f workers and the broader community just look at Jeffrey Immelt and General Electric under the Obama administration for example not an example Wu gives But Standard Oil in fact in the form A Christmas Tree for Lydia of its constituent parts boomed after its breakup suggesting that monopoly did not evenffer the company economic benefits Wu also name checks my favorite economist Luigi Zingales for these same points Zingales is another person I think an essential player in the realignment The God Solution: A Reply To The God Delusion of some conservatives and some liberals against their neoliberalChamberf Commerce enemies and who also together with his Capitalisn t podcast partner Kate Waldock recently discussed the Brandeisian antitrust revivalMoving back to history in the 1930s as fascist style central planning reached its peak under Franklin Roosevelt antitrust action suffered a near death experience but rebounded soon enough in part as a fresh reaction against economic concentration which became seen as a key element Eterlimus of the Nazi and Soviet systems including the rise to powerf the Nazis though the idea that the prime mover f Nazism r fascism was economic concentration is The Guilty Feminist: From our noble goals to our worst hypocrisies obviously silly now it was compelling then Concentrated economic power was now seen as un American and importantly as risking an American turn away from democracy Smaller businesses were seen as the iron bulwarkf the American way f life and so aggressive antitrust enforcement including breakups f monopolies continued through the 1950s and 1960s During this time though law professors from the University Bunless Oven: Bring Hope to Your Trying-To-Conceive Tears of Chicagoriginally led by Aaron Director and then brought to full flower by Robert Bork created by Wu s account ut f whole cloth a new idea that the real purpose There's a Light at the Top of the Stairs of Congress in passing the Sherman Act and subseuent antitrust laws was not addressing the societal harmsf economic concentration but rather The Very Busy Bee (Peek A Boo Pop Ups) only demonstrable consumer harm And thatnly in the form DuMont Bildband Namibia: Natur, Kultur und Lebensart (DuMont Bildband E-Book) of increased prices not anyther less direct harmBork at Mr. Snuff one point the high priestf Sordid Seduction originalism the schoolf Constitutional interpretation holding that the In the Freud Archives original understandingf the Constitution by its ratifiers was the Jacob and Sylvia only acceptable lens through which to decide Constitutional uestions which antitrust is not based his argumentn a very strained reading Is God a Delusion? of legislative historyr so Wu tells us He combined this with the powerful sales pitch that focusing n lower prices for consumers provided an bjective standard measuring stick that courts could use to decide antitrust uestions instead Beyond The MBA Hype of vague and varied feelings about the social impactf economic concentration which judges could use to simply impose their Amenities: Four Stories of Clifton Terrace own politically desirable result It was the desire for judicial restraint not the same thing asriginalism though sometimes they go together that really sold what Bork was ffering The net result after Bork s reinterpretation swept through first the academy then the courts was to return antitrust to its pre Theodore Roosevelt daysAs Wu points ut Bork ignored possible costs imposed n consumers ther than mere higher price such as stifling f innovation The classic example there was ATT after the breakup f which telecommunications innovation flourished but the point is ...I never saw another butterfly... obvious why innovate if you are collecting monopoly profits Bork also ignored virtuesf competition stressed by Hayek like the virtues الحبر أسود...أسود! of decentralization and the avoidancef central planning ATT was the prototypical aggressive and Good Riddance: An Illustrated Memoir of Divorce open monopolist gladly engaging in collusion the jealous Godf telecommunications brooking no rivals accepting no sharing and swallowing any children with even the remotest chance Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors of unseating Kronos The successf its breakup disproved Bork but ironically it was around the time f its breakup that Bork s view became dominantFinally Wu turns to what he calls the Tech Trusts and I call the Lords f Tech He does not like them Like ther authors such as Franklin Foer and Niall Ferguson he distrusts and importantly sees evil in all f Facebook Google and so n After a brief efflorescence f freedom in cyberspace a false dawn in which fools not including me thought the rules Boy On A Unicycle: Confessions of A Young Man Trained to Be A Winner of economics had changed forever what always happens happened again a handfulf giant companies concentrated in their hands all economic power in the relevant portions The Heart of Dead Cells: A Visual Making-Of of the new Internet economy using all the usual toolsf coercion economies 52 Poems for Men of scale and crony capitalism along with a few newnes So for example Facebook bought all its competitors that might threaten it such as Instagram and the antitrust regulators swallowed the laughable claim that they were not competitors at all Listing this parade A Companion to Jean Gerson of horribles as well as intimating that possible future combinationsf such economic power with government could lead to even worse things a point he has expanded n in interviews talking about this book Wu concludes If there is a sector ripe for the reinvigoration f the big case breakup tradition I do not know it What Wu wants most f all is a return to aggressive breakups f any concentration Royal Intrigues and Amours, of Many Illustrious Persons: Related to the Court of St. J 's (Classic Reprint) of economic power with a near conclusive presumption that any long term monopoly say existing for longer than ten years be broken up by government action Henly touches lightly Somewhere Fun on the definitionf monopoly which revolves around how Chasing Eternity one defines the relevant market but that is a relatively easilyvercome hurdle Wu points ut that since the decline f antitrust to near total irrelevancy in the past twenty years numerous critical industries have become very substantially concentrated airlines cable pharmaceuticals beer and even telecommunications with ATT reborn without government bjection though in a substantially changed technological environment where the ld ATT monopolies are gone foreverSo wrapping it up he ffers a Neo Brandeisian Agenda First aggressive prior review f mergers which now is perfunctory and as I know from my Editing Reality TV: The Easily Accessible, High-Paying Hollywood Job That Nobody Knows about own experience as an MA lawyer mostly an excuse for the government to charge juicy transactions taxes masuerading as fees Second transparency in mergers which as an administrative process is mostly kept from public view by law Third and fourth and most important resurrecting big cases followed by a presumption in favorf breaking up companies This would involve bringing suit against them under existing laws Wu does not call for any major new laws with the claims being not consumer harm through higher prices but the mere existence The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime of restraintf trade and monopoly r f any behavior that does not protect competition for which the punishment should be corporate death UP or at least corporate amputation Wu notes that the idea that breakups can t be done is laughable again something I know from personal experience having helped put together many companies together in my time it s very clear that the external appearancef an efficient welded monolith is a fantasy for any big company Cuisines From The World or any bigrganization and breaking them up would cause almost no real trauma He also points ut that court rdered breakups are self executing rather than as with consent decrees reuiring constant The Soul of a Writer: Intimate Interviews with Successful Songwriters ongoing supervision for compliance Fifth Wu recommends what he calls market investigations already done in Europe which scrutinize any existing market concentration and recommend whether it should be attacked either for bad behaviorr because it has ensorcelled itself from competitive attackReview completes as first comment The history Neeyum naanum of monopoly in the US began as an economics eugenics movement targeting those seen as unfit to deserve industrial life Tim Wu writes in The Cursef Bigness Antitrust in the New Gilded Age Wu s book a history The Independent Consulting Manual of monopoly power and public policy in America from the late 1800snward is particularly useful to revisit in this current age Shirtless Bear-Fighter! of tech firms big pharma and airline monopolies Its also illuminating in showing how tusslesver market concentration created Jake's Birthday Threesome: An MFF Erotica Story openings in the modern American economy that made possible the tech and internet industries that exist today When the push to consolidate economic power first began termed the Trust movement America was a nationf decentralized and distributed economic activity dominated by many small producers These farmers professional service providers and shop wners were scattered throughout the country working for themselves and trading amongst each ther and spreading prosperity The Ant and the Elephant: Leadership for the Self: A Parable and 5-Step Action Plan to Transform Workplace Performance over the continent But it was not to last Clever financiers including JP Morgan believed that just as man had come from apes monopolies were the natural evolutionaryutcome Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work of competition and a society run by monopolies wasne ruled by the strong So they set about purchasing consolidating When the Heavens Smile or if they couldn t do that destroying small firms inrder to rganize them into larger Trust companies to capture market power As Wu shows us in the decade between 1895 and 1904 2274 firms merged into 157 corporations a number f which you d recognize as still in business todayAs trusts gained ever power they exerted political power as well and this political power began Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies for the Future overriding democratic will When Teddy Roosevelt took the reins after President McKinley s assassination he was determined to take the power back for government asserting that a majoritarian government must lead the country and that corporations must be accountable to the government not thether way around These were the first shots fired as the antitrust battles began in earnestThese early antitrust fights are anything but boring and Wu does a great job illuminating the price fixing industrial sabotage train accidents and cabals that led to the Rockefellers and Cowboy presidents the insidiousness The Game Plan: The Men's 30-Day Strategy for Attaining Sexual Integrity of IBM and Microsoft s microserfs and Jeff Bezos mapping a plan for s growth by first drawing a mapf antitrust laws and then devising routes to smoothly bypass them Wu shows how monopoly power has shaped the modern economy and also shows how these antitrust laws that are still You Are a Goddess: Working with the Sacred Feminine to Awaken, Heal and Transform on the books have become sporadically enforced highly partisan and freuently under attack particularly since the presidencyf Bush 43 It s been two decades since a big anti trust case has been prosecuted by the government thanks to these shifting Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology opinions amongst lawmakers and the judiciary And as a result than 75 percentf industries have achieved increased concentration and industries with large increases in concentration now enjoy higher profit margins and high value merger deals This book shows there s a path away from David Goodis: Five Noir Novels of the 1940s 50s our extreme economic concentration using laws we ve hadn the books for ver a hundred years The uestion is if anyone will garner the political will to do something with them Read my longer review f this book here I learned an awful lot writing it. Nature errors The Art of Syntax: Rhythm of Thought, Rhythm of Song of the twentieth centuryIn The Cursef Bigness Columbia professor Tim Wu tells f how figures like Brandeis and Theodore Roosevelt first confronted the democratic threats posed by the great trusts f the Gilded Age but the lessons Subversive Horror Cinema: Countercultural Messages of Films from Frankenstein to the Present of the Progressive Era were forgotten in the last 40 years He calls for recovering the lost tenetsf the trustbusting age as part How Do You Feed a Hungry Giant?: A Munch-and-Sip Pop-Up Book of a broader revivalf American progressive ideas as we confront the fallout f persistent and extreme economic ineualit.

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Tim Wu is an author a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing writer for the New York Times He has written about technology in numerous publications and coined the phrase net neutrality