Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part 13

We are evaluating a variety of complaints about Big Tech to see whether our ramshackle antitrust laws represent an appropriate remedy. So far, we’ve learned that antitrust action is a clumsy approach at best. But let’s look at one more major complaint against Big Tech: read more »

Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part 12

As I noted last week, virtually everywhere we go and everything we do is subject to surveillance by government and private citizens. And the person they are looking at is actually us, not some random number linked to our computers.

Internet privacy, by contrast, involves businesses following around HTTP cookies or similar data. The businesses – or, rather, computers owned by those businesses – don’t know those numbers are us, they’re just numbers.

Facebook (e.g.) might know that the computer embedded with certain cookies just bought a spatula, and Facebook (or, more likely, a business that buys information from Facebook) might try to sell a whisk to that computer. But it’s not us they know about, not our faces or our cars or our license numbers, who we’re with or what credit card we’re using.

Here, for example, is a cookie (from Wikipedia):

HTTP/1.0 200 OK Set-Cookie: LSID=DQAAAK…Eaem_vYg; Path=/accounts; Expires=Wed, 13 Jan 2021 22:23:01 GMT; Secure; HttpOnly Set-Cookie: HSID=AYQEVn…DKrdst; Domain=.foo.com; Path=/; Expires=Wed, 13 Jan 2021 22:23:01 GMT; HttpOnly Set-Cookie: SSID=Ap4P…GTEq; Domain=foo.com; Path=/; Expires=Wed, 13 Jan 2021 22:23:01 GMT; Secure; HttpOnly read more »

Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part 11

If we thought that way too many antitrust laws and enforcements were ineffectual at best and counterproductive at worst, matters are about to become even more dreadful – most of the proposed enforcements will harm consumers without much denting the power of Big Tech. read more »

Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part 9

From the date of enactment of the first antitrust laws during the Roman Republic right up to the present moment there have really been only three theories that have addressed the proper role of a government in controlling anticompetitive behavior. read more »

Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part 8

By the mid-twentieth century antitrust enforcement in the US had become far more sophisticated than it had been for the first six decades after the Sherman Act was passed in 1890. Unfortunately, the ratio of success-to-fiasco remained roughly constant. read more »

On Inflation

[So many people have asked about my views on inflation that I’m pausing my antitrust series to address that topic. Back to antitrust next week.] read more »

Antitrust Is More Interesting Than You Think, Part 6

When people who don’t like free markets (i.e., almost everybody in academia) talk about antitrust law, they almost always begin by saying something like this: “One of the core defects of market economies is the inevitability of monopolistic practices.” read more »