Technology

Congress Targets Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google for Being Popular

After a 16-month investigation into the big four tech companies, it seems the most that congressional busybodies can accuse them of is routine business practices and having popular services.

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With fresh faces in the White House and Congress, many Trump-era political agendas will soon be discarded. But the desire to use antitrust law against popular tech companies isn't likely to go anywhere. In recent months, Republicans and Democrats have both been itching to flex their regulatory muscle against the likes of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.

In October, 11 state attorneys general—all Republicans—and the Department of Justice filed a civil suit against Google, accusing the internet search giant of maintaining a digital search and ad monopoly "through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices," in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. But the lawsuit fails to explain either how Google's practices amount to anything other than normal business deals or how consumers are being harmed.

The bar for showing consumer harm "is unlikely to be met," said Jessica Melugin, associate director of Center for Technology and Innovation at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in a statement about the lawsuit. That's "why so many antitrust enthusiasts are calling for a fundamental rewriting and expansion of U.S. antitrust laws. Those proposed changes sacrifice the primacy of consumer welfare and insert competitors and broader socio-economic goals in its place."

This impetus was on full display in a fall report from the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law. After a 16-month investigation into the big four tech companies, it seems the most that congressional busybodies can accuse them of is routine business practices and having popular services. But while the 450-page report, issued in October, offers scant evidence of these companies violating current federal law, it's full of calls to change the law so tech company actions will fall under federal purview.

The subcommittee's bipartisan "Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets" included seven additional hearings, hundreds of interviews, and nearly 1.3 million obtained "documents and communications." For all that work, the members found little that's not already public knowledge and even less to suggest these companies acted in an illegal way.

The report repeatedly accuses Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google of having "monopolies" in various facets of digital life. But it uses this term to mean not having exclusive domain over a product or service but merely enjoying large market shares thanks to consumers choosing to use them.

For instance, the report faults "the strong network effects associated with Facebook" for tipping "the market toward monopoly." Network effects refers to the fact that the more people who are on a particular platform, the more value it holds for users—a phenomenon driven by individual choices and calculations, not anti-competitive action or a lack of alternatives. (Also notable: Facebook's share of social media traffic has actually been declining for a few years.)

The subcommittee faults Google because "a significant number of entities…depend on Google for traffic"—as if Google is doing something wrong by building a search engine that millions of people choose to use, thereby making it a significant traffic source for sites across the web.

The report faults Amazon for things like having "significant and durable market power in the U.S. online retail market" and preferentially listing its own brands in search results among products from millions of third-party sellers. It faults Apple for pre-installing its own apps on iPhones and iPads and for running an app store that gives users access to outside apps, suggesting that this is "controlling access to more than 100 million iPhones and iPads."

It's one of the report's many misrepresentations about how technologies work and whom they benefit. Without an app store, consumers would have to tediously trawl the web for each new app they wanted to access—almost ensuring that now-dominant names would become even more dominant. New or small offerings now discoverable through the centralized app marketplace would be far less visible or would have to spend far much more on marketing. The app store may benefit Apple, but it also benefits Apple customers and independent app developers.

"Last year in the United States alone, the App Store facilitated $138 billion in commerce with over 85 percent of that amount accruing solely to third-party developers," Apple said in a statement, pointing out that the company "does not have a dominant market share in any category" where it does business.

Google accused the report of being out of touch with what consumers want while containing "outdated and inaccurate allegations from commercial rivals about Search and other services."

Amazon also objected to the subcommittee's "regulatory spit-balling on antitrust," writing in a blog post that "large companies are not dominant by definition, and the presumption that success can only be the result of anti-competitive behavior is simply wrong."

Calling Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google monopolies only works if we're departing from traditional definitions of the word and its historical meaning in antitrust law. The report calls this redefinition a modernization.

"Congress must lead the path forward to modernize [antitrust laws] for the economy of today," wrote subcommittee chair David Cicilline (D–R.I.) in the report's introduction, which also spells out Congress' intention to more aggressively enforce those laws. "These firms have too much power, and power must be reined in," wrote Cicilline.

The report recommends a wide swath of changes, including prohibiting "dominant platforms from operating in adjacent lines of business" and creating new presumptions against tech acquisitions. At the progressive magazine The American Prospect, David Dayen suggested gleefully that subcommittee members are "using tech as simply a case study on what an invigorated legislative body can do to rein in the corporate power of any type."

NEXT: Brickbat: Welcome to 2021

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  1. Didn’t KMW already do the weekly “Just lie back and think of billionaires” article?

    1. Yep. You know why? Because billionaires are all liberal globalists with rare exception, like Koch.
      As for Google, Facebook, and Apple: They censor information or they actively promote the Silicon Valley World View to the point of ridiculousness while enjoying freedom from lawsuits. I have been doing boolean searches for years. I laugh out loud at some of the crap Google pushes to the first page of its “search.” It wasn’t always like this. Apple sends me a “news roundup” I never signed up for straight out of the DNC.
      Facebook shuts down the accounts of far right and conservative groups, but does nothing to extremists and cheaters on the Left. Zuckerberg should be in jail for ballot harvesting.
      Lastly, Bezos is just a gross adulterer who is the living personification of greed and humiliated his wife for a really unattractive gold digger. That’s all I have on Amazon. That, and they drive everyone else out of business so Bozo can get richer.

      1. More to the point with Apple is that they have never had more than 20% of the phone market in any quarter and usually around 13-15%, sometimes 10%. Samsung has more. The big complaint about Apple is that they make more money from their share than the others.
        How can you have a monopoly with less than 20% of the market? Sure, they manage the apps they allow on their platform, but that is a major selling point for them, and those who pay so much more for an Apple product see that as a feature, not a fault.

        1. Congress Targets Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google for Being Popular.

          You forgot twitter. I like Amazon, Apple, and Google’s services. The problem isn’t that they are targeted for being popular. They are targeted for using their services to quell right leaning voices (and libertarians are right leaning. The left call you guys far right wing tea party freaks).

          As an example. Google targeted zerohedge and thefederalist for right wing comments, in the comments section, of those articles. Unbelievable. For monetary reasons? Nope. Because they are ideologues. And they are using their positions stop the exchange of ideas. That simple.

          1. In other words, they are not about free minds and free markets. They are digital book burners.

            1. [ PART TIME JOB FOR USA ] Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are much better than regular office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
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          2. Watched the documentary Social Dilemma last evening; made sense re how these companies manipulate and influence consumers [“users}] till the round up when every single talking head came to the resounding conclusion that the average person is just too stupid to discern what the “truth” is and easily persuaded [to believe and buy], and therefore big government must step in and regulate it all. Sounding more than a little like Democratic Party talking points.

            1. Get $192 hourly from Google!…Yes this is Authentic since I just got my first payout of $24413 and this was just of a single week… I have also bought my Range Rover Velar right after this payout…It is really cool job I have ever had and you won’t forgive yourself if you do not check it… =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= USA ONLINE JOBS

      2. Thinking that Facebook is a credible news source is a mistake – do you make that mistake? Facebook is best for reconnecting with old friends and bragging about grandkids after the dance recital, baseball game, or graduation. Most of the other B.S. is just stupid – and smart people ignore it. The Google search crap you mention is laugh-inducing – and at least on this issue you seem smart enough to have figured out that it’s best to not fall for Google’s strategy. I just started getting Apple’s “news” – and I never look at it – I just delete it and move on. As has been pointed out elsewhere on this thread, Apple’s global share of smart phone sales is far behind Android brands, especially Samsung. Amazon is much, much more than a retailer – but even at that, it has a small share of total retail sales. Note how rapidly Walmart is growing online sales. Same for Target. Amazon won’t drive “everyone else” out of business – the smart competition is adapting. I couldn’t care less about how rich Bezos is, or if he gets richer. Wealth is not a zero sum game.

      3. And you think that the solution to the problem of excessive power of tech giants is increasing the already ridiculously large power of the state? Trump could have destroyed Twitter if he announced that he will stop using it and is switching to Parler in 2017. Millions of his followers would have done the same, thus rendering Twitter irrelevant. I am not sure what agenda did he have, but increasing market competition certainly doesn’t look like a part of it. Railing against Amazon, Twitter and Facebook and threatening to use Post Office to harm Amazon certainly doesn’t look like market friendly philosophy. Trump is an economic nationalist, but he is also a big government guy. A well lead campaign to boycott Twitter and switch to Parler would solve the Twitter problem very quickly. The same goes for Gab and Facebook.

    2. Complaining that Reason.com is running too many pro-billionaire articles is like complaining that a movie blog writes too many reviews.

      #InDefenseOfBillionaires
      #BillionairesKnowBest

      1. Billionaires create jobs. My whole career was enabled by a bunch of billionaires: Ken Olsen, Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Scott McNealy, all billionaires, have introduced the technologies that I used throughout the most of my career. Billionaires have become billionaires by providing something of value to very large number of people who gave them their money in return. I have MS Windows, a legal version, and was prepared to pay around $200 (with Office) for the privilege. Part of those $200 have made Mr. Gates even richer. However, I have an OS which is supported by the most teleconferencing software, I can use Visio, Excel and MS Word and I have a very stable desktop PC at my home that causes me no problems. I have a slight suspicion that I am not the only customer who purchased Windows & Office combo from MS. There may be billions of people like me. And that is why Bill Gates is rich. He provided something of value. So did Ken Olsen, these days largely forgotten founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, at one point the no# 2 IT company in the world, trailing only then mighty IBM. At the end of 80’s, almost every small to medium size company on the planet was running VAX/VMS. Jeff Bezos, much reviled founder of Amazon has provided hundreds of thousands of jobs and helped Americans go through Covid isolation much easier than would otherwise be the case. I really get ticked off by railing against billionaires. What is the problem? They are more successful than you?

    3. Remember when libertarians claimed to care about privacy?

      1. Is Reason really libertarian?

        1. That’s easy, not even remotely. Just look the sticky paean to corporatism dribbling here off of ENB’s chin.

          These merchants are popular because the lockdowns they pushed for destroyed their competition.
          A combination of sustained lockdowns, massive state-mandated transfers of wealth to corporate elites in the name of legislative “COVID relief,” and a radically increased dependence on online activities has rendered corporate behemoths close to unchallengeable in terms of both economic and political power.

          As Greenwald noted the other day, these COVID “winners” are not the Randian victors in free market capitalism. Quite the contrary, they are the recipients of enormous amounts of largesse from the U.S. Government, which they control through armies of lobbyists and donations and which therefore constantly intervenes in the market for their benefit.
          This is not free market capitalism rewarding innovative titans, but rather crony capitalism that is abusing the power of the state to crush small competitors, lavish corporate giants with ever more wealth and power, and turn millions of Americans into vassals whose best case scenario is working multiple jobs at low hourly wages with no benefits, few rights, and even fewer options.

          The lockdowns from the pandemic have ushered in a collapse of small businesses across the U.S. that has only further fortified the power of corporate giants. “Billionaires increased their wealth by more than a quarter (27.5%) at the height of the crisis from April to July, just as millions of people around the world lost their jobs or were struggling to get by on government schemes,” reported The Guardian in September. A study from July told part of the story:

          The combined wealth of the world’s super-rich reached a new peak during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study published by the consulting firm PwC and the Swiss bank UBC on Wednesday. The more than 2,000 billionaires around the world managed to amass fortunes totalling around $10.2 trillion (€8.69 trillion) by July, surpassing the previous record of $8.9 trillion reached in 2017.

          Meanwhile, though exact numbers are unknown, “roughly one in five small businesses have closed,” AP notes, adding: “restaurants, bars, beauty shops and other retailers that involve face-to-face contact have been hardest hit at a time when Americans are trying to keep distance from one another.”

          This is what actual fascist economics is (and I’m not using that term out of context here). And it’s disgusting.

          Reason is not only becoming unlibertarian, by shilling for corporatism it’s becoming anti-libertarian.

          1. I agree with you that the Top Lizard Men have stolen WAAAAY too much power among corporations!

            THIS is why we need to take their powers AWAY from said Top Lizard Men, and give the Top Lizard Men MORE power in Government Almighty, instead! Way to go, Momma!

            1. So Sqrlsy’s cool with corporatism and anti-free-market practices.
              Apparently to disagree with corporate handouts and influence peddling is something-something lizard people in sarcasmic’s world.

              Why do you hate libertarian economics, Sqrls?

              1. Refute the below, bootlicker!

                Look, I’ll make it pretty simple for simpletons. A prime argument of enemies of Section 230 is, since the government does such a HUGE favor for owners of web sites, by PROTECTING web site owners from being sued (in the courts of Government Almighty) as a “publisher”, then this is an unfair treatment of web site owners! Who SHOULD (lacking “unfair” section 230 provisions) be able to get SUED for the writings of OTHER PEOPLE! And punished by Government Almighty, for disobeying any and all decrees from Government Almighty’s courts, after getting sued!

                In a nutshell: Government Almighty should be able to boss around your uses of your web site, because, after all, Government Almighty is “protecting” you… From Government Almighty!!!

                Wow, just THINK of what we could do with this logic! Government Almighty is “protecting” you from getting sued in matters concerning who you chose to date or marry… In matters concerning what line of work you chose… What you eat and drink… What you read… What you think… Therefore, Government Almighty should be able to boss you around on ALL of these matters, and more! The only limits are the imaginations and power-lusts of politicians!

                1. I’m not going to bother reading any of that nonsense, but I do get the impression that you really love your government almighty.

                  1. In other words, I kicked your ass as usual, brainless one!

            2. Momma believes the same delusional lies that Anthony Quinn did, about Lizard Men!

              https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nashville-bomber-anthony-quinn-sent-conspiracy-theories-to-people-before-explosion/

              Nashville bomber sent writings espousing conspiracy theories to multiple people days before blast

              Anthony Quinn told me so! It must be true! From the above link…

              Warner’s writings also discuss the conspiracy theory that Earth is controlled by a race of reptilian lizard people.

              “They put a switch into the human brain so they could walk among us and appear human,” Warner wrote.

              1. Flagged and hidden for retarded ranting.

                1. The Nashville bomber blew up himself and his dog… Went postal! Glad to see it wasn’t you, Mamma, or R Mac, who’s posts I have seen since Xmas… Who have we NOT seen lately here? Was this Sevo maybe? Or Rob Misek? Or Nadless Nardless, the Nasty NAZI? I don’t keep track of all posters, so I am still wondering which fascist here, if any, it might have been…

                  THIS, Momma and R Mac, THIS is the end-move, checkmate, of your delusional, megalomaniacal ways!!! Don’t be saying that no one warned you!

          2. I thought I was the only one to have noticed that. Also, Libertarian Party is quickly becoming GOP Lite, with blander taste and less calories.

      2. “Remember when libertarians claimed to care about privacy?”

        Hey damikesc! How is your authoritarian Master Plan, to MAKE people buy Reason Magazines, coming along? To bypass boycotts resulting from your OTHER authoritarian Master Plan?

        Free speech (freedom from “Cancel Culture”) comes from Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok, and Google, right? THAT is why we need to pass laws to prohibit these DANGEROUS companies (which, ugh!, the BASTARDS, put profits above people!)!!! We must pass new laws to retract “Section 230” and FORCE the evil corporations to provide us all (EXCEPT for my political enemies, of course!) with a “UBIFS”, a Universal Basic Income of Free Speech!

        So leftist “false flag” commenters will inundate Reason-dot-com with shitloads of PROTECTED racist comments, and then pissed-off readers and advertisers and buyers (of Reason magazine) will all BOYCOTT Reason! And right-wing idiots like Damikesc will then FORCE people to support Reason, so as to nullify the attempts at boycotts! THAT is your ultimate authoritarian “fix” here!!!

        “Now, to “protect” Reason from this meddling here, are we going to REQUIRE readers and advertisers to support Reason, to protect Reason from boycotts?”
        Yup. Basically. Sounds rough. (Quote damikesc)
        (Etc.)
        See https://reason.com/2020/06/24/the-new-censors/#comments

        1. Wow, that was super nonsensical, Sqrls. You’ve outdone yourself.

          1. The fascism comes from your good fascist buddy, idiot, if you will read the link!

            1. I’ll be honest with you Sqrls, I rarely bother to read anything you post. When it’s not outright gibberish then it’s usually a mess of misapprehension and conspiracy.

              Anyway, I flagged and hid it to make the thread more readable, so it’s gone for me now.

              1. Momma wins ALL arguments and disputes…

                …Because she can’t read what you wrote! Because she can’t STAND the idea that she is WRONG, and will have to re-think her ideas about Her Own Perfection!

                1. Hey if your not paying for the product, you ARE the product!

                  1. you’re

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    6. Elizabeth Brown who wrote this article is being deliberately dense.
      Twitter and Facebook have become the digital “town square”.
      They both censor only conservative speech.
      They allow no dissent from Democrat Party talking points.
      There is no way to “start your own Facebook/Twitter”.
      The public space must be open to ideas from all sides

      1. I never open links without comments, especially not FB links. It looks like phishing. I flagged your post for review.

  2. Without an app store, consumers would have to tediously trawl the web for each new app they wanted to access—almost ensuring that now-dominant names would become even more dominant.

    Without curated software repositories controlled by a monopolistic central source that bans people for political reasons and takes a cut of every transaction there would be no third-party software, kids. Win32 was merely a figment of your imagination. Linux distributions based around software repositories and package managers are a 25 year old myth.

    Oh, what’s that? You want to install an alternative software repository manager like F-Droid? That’s malware, stupid! Listen to your betters! Installing an alternative software repository manager would give you fewer choices, not more!

    1. But installing an alternate sofware repository just moves all the problems you blame Apple/Google for to the owners of the alternate repository.

      If you don’t think the alternate repository will exercise the same kind of control, then you are delusional.

      No, what the politicians will push for is not allowing competition between app stores, but no app store at all.

      1. Maybe a second repository would, although that’s by no means as certain as you make out.
        However, if there were 10, 50 or even 100 app stores that element of control would be broken.

    2. That is not a problem. Google has removed Parler from their application store. I found it at the company website, downloaded to my tablet and the fun can start. It takes approximately 10 seconds to find it. I also switched my default search engine to DuckDuckGo without any problem. The choice is ultimately yours.

  3. Wouldn’t it be great if this ignorant whore stuck to the only thing in this entire fucking world she actually understands: granting access to your cunt in exchange for money?

    1. You’re a dick. A long dick, but still a dick.

      1. But prostitution really is her favorite cause célèbre.

    2. That is totally unfair. She could probably writ a few articals about making a pastrami on rye, awsom BLT tricks, and proper meat-cheese-bread ratios.

    3. Wouldn’t it be great if this ignorant whore stuck to the only thing in this entire fucking world she actually understands: granting access to your cunt in exchange for money?

      Ohhhhhhhhhh! There it is!

  4. Guess we know who ENB whores for, in addition to her whoring for Team D.

    1. Yeah well, those Reason commies can suck my D.

      1. Suck a D, Reason!

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        1. the chat penis hilarious ???? very penetrating statement.????????

          1. That’s the level of argumentation of which leftists are capable.

      2. So saying that Government shouldn’t Intervene on Private Businesses is somehow Communist…

  5. Fuck Reason. I used to agree with them on this point, but the fact is Google/Facebook/Twitter are just private extensions of the government. How much of the data collected by these companies winds up on government servers for tracking our every movement? How much does the court system rely on data from these companies for the purpose of locking people in cages and terrorizing little children in CPS cases?

    If there was a clear separation between these companies and the guys with all the guns, I might be more sympathetic to their argument. But not when they are so in bed with each other.

    1. The only legislation fix (IMHO) would be this simple law: There is no 3rd party exemption to the 4th Amendment. Any law stating otherwise is unconstitutional.

      Now good luck getting “small government” Republicans and “civil liberties” Democrats on board with that. Everything else I see them doing is to further the governments control of tech not diminish it.

      1. Also allowing libel lawsuits. As soon as they edit they loose section 230 protections, stossle would have a slam dunk case from his forest fire video, but the judges have made it clear that they don’t care about the law.

        1. I think a great example would be the California Republican Party suing Google for slander after they said Nazism is part of their platform.

      2. Except Antitrust break-up isn’t “government controls” really. That’s the real defining factor to this subject. Keep the Government AWAY from the PRESS; but when Google has 90+% of free-information monopolized it does pose a threat to consumers.

        Slice and Dice GOOD! Encapsulate and Control BAD!

        1. Yes it is. They want a consent decree. See tobacco, they didn’t break up companies, they used the treat to extract what they wanted from tobacco.

          1. Well; that’s what the left-progressives do.. Exactly why I’m against the repeal of Section 230 (left want’s censorship not freedom). Talk of Antitrust SHOULDN’T contain anything more than Slice and Dice. Then again; perhaps just expiring all of Facebook’s copyrights monopoly would do just fine.

  6. “I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules for the internet, we can preserve what’s best about it – the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things – while also protecting society from broader harms.” – Mark Zuckerberg

    This guy gets it – build out a business and then call for government regulation to lock in your monopoly and lock out the competition. If you think Big Government and Big Business are antagonists, I got a big ol’ briar patch to sell you. Have you never heard of regulatory capture? Do you think these companies have all these lobbyists and support all these PACs just for the fun of it? These “anti-business” regulations are gonna be written by these companies they’re ostensibly written for.

    1. Jerryskids gets it!

      “Regulatory capture” and “Concentrated benefits, diffuse costs” (of special interests)… Google those 2 phrases, and you’ve got all you need.

      Sad to say, average voters are vastly ignorant of these kinds of things… Average voters have huge punishment boners, and they want to use Government Almighty to PUNISH people! “What they hear from their friends” informs them about who the BAD guys are, “confirmation bias” (only listening to what they agree with) strengthens their beliefs… And then they use Government Almighty to LASH OUT, often in random directions, at the “bad guys”! And scummy politicians (almost all of them) will ride whatever “punishment wave” is the “in” thing at the moment.

    2. Yep, exactly right. And the clueless Trump Humpers are all for it.

      1. How so, Jeff?

        1. Sorry, sarc.

  7. I was talking to a Trump Humper who was complaining about Facebook’s monopoly and that the government should break them up. Monopoly on what? Being Facebook?

    This is like the idiots years ago who wanted Washington to break up the NFL because they have a monopoly on, well, professional football. The product is not professional football, the product is entertainment. Planting your arse in front of the TV to watch the NFL is just one of many entertainment choices. It’s like saying that McDonald’s has a monopoly on Big Macs.

    Same with Facebook. It’s a mindless waste of time for the most part. There are many choices for mindless clicking or group collaboration.

    People is dumb.

    1. Is there? I’m still looking for a good desktop Facebook alternative (always ask but no-one replies)..

      1. When Facebook was a wholly owned subsidiary of Russian Troll Farms it was a cataclysm that had to be solved by repeated Congressional investigations and two impeachments. Nobody even cared if it had a monopoly or not.

        Now that the right man is in charge, they’re going full(er) “what’s a monopoly?” retard.

        The utter lack of principles would be hilarious if it weren’t so disgusting.

      2. It’s not even the platform though, it’s keeping in touch with all my cousins, old aunts, mother and grandmother that make facebook what it is.

        There is no alternative unless they’re on it.

        That’s why in many ways facebook’s operation is more like a phone network or some other type of utility, rather than a merchant… a phone network that spies on you and censors you.

        1. it’s keeping in touch with all my cousins, old aunts, mother and grandmother that make facebook what it is.
          You can do all those things without Facebook, it just requires more effort like making a couple phone calls or typing up an email.

          NO ONE needs Facebook, and many people would be MUCH BETTER OFF without.

          1. lol… Is that like, “NO ONE needs a telephone, and many people would be MUCH BETTER OFF without one.”

        2. So, a digital party line…

          1. That censors you if you don’t tow …the party line.

    2. “I was talking to a Trump Humper”

      Lol, I bet you didn’t. I bet you just pulled that story out of your ass.

  8. This is an easy one:

    ENB is left and the left likes big tech because they push their narratives. You can this years sherlock holmes award to my PO. Its 666 Majorbuttfuckeryrd, North Scheissenberg, Fuckyoufornia. The zip code you can google yourself.

    1. You can SEND this years… edit

  9. The report recommends a wide swath of changes, including prohibiting “dominant platforms from operating in adjacent lines of business”

    Hmm. Will such prohibition apply to *government* “platforms”?

  10. “These firms have too much power, and power must be reined in,”

    says the official in the most powerful monopoly in human history.

  11. Being popular? Is that the only issue? Someone should tell ENB that being blatantly disingenuous about the opposite side of your argument is not very convincing.

    1. Is R Mac “Stable Genius Junior” now going to educate us all about the POSITIVE aspects of allowing the mob (through the use of Government Almighty) to tear down and-or break up and-or over-regulate the snot out of anyone who gets “too big” by selling us what we want to buy? Have you EVER considered THIS idea: If you have a HUGE punishment boner about “punishing” (for example) Facebook, you COULD simply punish them by NOT getting a Facebook account… And leave Government Almighty, and the freedoms and property rights of others, OUT of your desperate need to humor your punishment boner! Summary: YOUR punishment boner gets in the way of MY freedom, asshole!

      1. Nice to see my point went right over your head, shit eater.

        1. You MADE no point, arrogant empty-headed wonder, other than, “Me Mysteriously SMART, and others STUPID, in unspecified ways, and MEEE? WAAAAAY too brilliant and busy to be bothered to explain ANY of MY High and Noble Thoughts!”

          1. So the only criticism is that these companies are popular? Is that what you think? Or do you think being disingenuous is a convincing way to make an argument?

            1. I don’t necessarily disagree with you, when you (I think?) imply that perhaps, maybe, sometimes, stuff and stuff is stuffy… Except when it isn’t stuffy! Any anyone who disagrees with you, MUST be somehow disingenuous in talking or writing about exactly WHEN the stuff and stuff is stuffy, and when it is NOT stuffy!

              You’ve got some sort of PhD in this business about stuff and stuff being stuffy, except when it is NOT stuffy? Do you think you could spell out ANY of Your Deep Thoughts about that, with us peons?

              1. “I don’t necessarily disagree with you”

                Then what are you going on about?

                Because the rest of your comment is gibberish.

                1. Get your sarcasmometer checked! I am spitting empty-headed, egotistical, snide-superior, bombastic, meaningless trash at you, because that’s what YOU quite often do! You sure as Hell did it here!

                2. “I don’t necessarily disagree with you”

                  That says NOTHING! It neither says that I agree with you, or that I disagree with you! It is empty-header balderdash like stupid politicians use! Full of self-importance, but saying nothing! Just like YOU! But your megalomania doesn’t allow you to see that, does it?

                  1. Thanks for admitting your only purpose was to spout gibberish then.

                    1. I’ve always hated flagging and hiding anything that wasn’t spam, it felt sort of like censorship to me.

                      But the longer the Sqrlsy post, the less actual content there is and the more like spam it becomes.
                      Anytime a Sqrlsy post exceeds 10 lines I don’t even bother reading it. I just flag it and the thread instantly becomes more readable.

                  2. AND to help you recognize your bombastic megalomania! But your megalomania keeps you from seeing your megalomania…

                    So GOOD LUCK to you! You will NEED it!

                    1. Your hallucinations don’t concern me.

                    2. I’m not hallucinating your megalomania. Your writings make your twisted, self-adoring mind VERY clear to even vaguely astute readers.

                    3. Looks like sarcasmic learned a new “big” word today. As expected though, he’s using it slightly out of context.

                    4. megalomania

                      You should look up this word. It doesn’t mean what you think it means.

                    5. obsession with the exercise of power, especially in the domination of others.
                      Similar:
                      delusions of grandeur
                      obsessionalism
                      grandiosity
                      grandioseness
                      self-importance
                      egotism
                      conceit
                      conceitedness
                      folie de grandeur
                      Opposite:
                      modesty
                      humility
                      delusion about one’s own power or importance (typically as a symptom of manic or paranoid disorder).

                      Fits both R Mac and Momma to a “T”! Go look in the mirrors, egotists!

                    6. Well, I must admit that I do feel vastly superior to Sqrlsy.
                      What about you R Mac? Do you think that you’re better than Sqrlsy too?

                      …Is there anyone here who doesn’t think that they’re superior to Sqrlsy?

                    7. Is there ANYONE in the whole universe, living, dead, or supernatural, who Momma does NOT feel superior to?

                    8. Yeah, sorry squirrel. Thinking I’m better than your shit eating, lunatic ass doesn’t make me a megalomaniac.

                      Plus I know what that word actually means.

                    9. I could see how a self-centered egotist like R Mac would like to redefine all unpleasant words that others attach to R Mac, yes indeed.

                      When I say “R Mac = asshole”, R Mac will re-define asshole to mean “source of benevolence and wisdom” instead of the way that 99.99999% of English-speakers define it, “source of stupid shit, jerkish shit, self-righteous shit, evil shit, etc.”.

  12. The only actual monopoly in all of this (other than government of course) is Google’s monopoly on web advertising. Which they acquired by providing a vastly cheaper, more effective way to deliver ads than their competitors. Sorry if I don’t feel bad for newspapers and other legacy media losing out because they failed to innovate for several decades straight.

    1. Newspapers have traditionally been burdened with a external balkanization and up front moderation. Thanks to the historical happenstance of the printing press preceding the Revolution, they didn’t command the techno-wizardry to dazzle legislators into believing that publishing lies, falsehoods, and disinformation was *the* way to greater enlightenment.

  13. Congress Targets Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google for Being PopularMaking Money

    Fixed.

    Socialism is popular, but I don’t see Congress attacking that. Target Big Tech because that’s where the money is.

  14. How hmmm simple.
    to use my cell phone to cellphone provider THE MIDDLEMAN GOOGLE EXTORTS TERMS OF SERVICE!
    why is google the only option.
    THAT SIMPLE! isnt it illegal to extort telecommunication permission or is google my isp wifi or cell service?
    i CAN go WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY FUTHER INTO DETAILS. way way futher trust me thats not wise to toy with.. example any and all hacking attempts come from who? my service provider or googles open backdoor policy? not to mention illegal terms of service no warning of contract extortion. LOOK AT THE APPS CALLED BLOATWARE … WHO AUTHORIZED THEY COULDNT BE REMOVED.
    LOOK AT GOOGLE PLAY PERFECT EXAMPLE !!!
    DIGITAL PROPERTY RIGHTS VIOLATED RENTING IS NOT OWNERSHIP… UNDER 18 GAMBLING ARE ANY LICENSED TO DO BUSSNIESS AS 3RD PARTYS GOOGLE TAKES NO RESPONSABILITY FOR AT ALL? google is a shit show! no choice o.s. who picks that on my personal property. i personally like windows phone set up.. NOT FOND OF ANDROID AT ALL.
    MY PERMISSION TO MY FILES IS DENIED IN ROOT SYSTEMS WHY AGAIN? WHY ARE APPS UNREMOVABLE ON MY BOUGHT & PHYSICALLY OWNED PROPERTY!? LOOK AT THE LIST COME ON NOW TSLK ABOUT RACKETEERING BLOATWARE EMBEDDED FILES UNREMOVABLE NO CHOICE SEARCH RESULTS ARE A PLAUGE OF SCAMS RESELLERS EXTORTING THE MARKET 2X-23X RETAIL PRICES ALLOWS UNVERIFIED EVERYTHING refuses to disclose trade banned companies transactions on their platforms.. thats just the tip of the ice burg.

    i can say far far more believe me

    1. “i can say far far more believe me”

      This, I believe.

  15. who is this community they talk of in terms of service?
    yet break laws on free speech to hide CRIMINAL ACTIONS?
    i find rules against hate speech THE HIGHEST FORM OF HATE SPEECH ITSELF.
    its a crime to gag a person isnt it right? WHY IS GOOGLE GAGGING ME ON YOUTUBE THEN?

    1. Did you ever think of PAYING for your OWN web site?

      Hey whining crybaby… I pay for my own web site at Go-Daddy. I say some VERY sarcastic and un-politically-correct, intolerant things about cults like Scientology there (and Government Almighty as well). I am QUITE sure that a LOT of “tolerant” liberal-type folks at Google etc. would NOT be happy with the types of things I wrote! Yet, if you do a search-string “Scienfoology”, Google will take you STRAIGHT to MY web site, top hit! #1!
      https://www.google.com/search?q=scienfoology&nfpr=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjPzZqf0dXsAhUCT6wKHez9DNwQvgUoAXoECDEQKg&biw=1920&bih=941
      Your whining and crying is (just about ) UTTERLY without basis!

      Ask YouTube for your money back! Did you ever spend a DIME there? Did they break a contract with you? Then you can go to court like everyone else can!

      1. Yup. Don’t like those companies don’t use them.

      2. Get a proper SSL cert you stupid bitch. How are you paying for your hosting services anyway?

        We all know you’re Reason’s official “crazy homeless guy.” So I’m wondering how you pay to host your own site. Do you really get that much in your begging cup? Or maybe you gave up sucking dick for coke and now just suck dick for web hosting?

        1. Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

          So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

          Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

          Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

          Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

          At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

          Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to ReasonNeedsBrilliantlyPersuasiveWriters@Reason.com .

          Thank You! -Reason Staff

  16. Yeah it`s Possible…Anybody can earn 250$+ daily… You can earn from 6000-12000 a month or even more if you work as a full time job…It’s easy, just follow instructions on this page, read it carefully from start to finish… It’s a flexible job but a good eaning opportunity..Visit here.

  17. With fresh faces in the White House and Congress, many Trump-era political agendas will soon be discarded.

    Huh?

    1. With fresh faces in the White House and Congress, I hope many Trump-era political agendas will soon be discarded.” said ENB.

      FIFY

    2. What exactly is “fresh” about the likes of John Kerry and Janet Yelen? Is ENB really so slavishly devoted to the DNC that she thinks these fossils are “fresh”?

  18. “YouTube has banned the digital station TalkRadio from its platform over repeated breaches of the platform’s content policy, leaving the broadcaster scrambling to find other sites on which it can host excerpts of its debate and discussion shows.

    The station, part of the TalkSport network, said it had not been told by the platform what the most recent breach was. A spokesperson said: “We urgently await a detailed response from Google/YouTube about the nature of the breach that has led to our channel being removed from its platform.”

    Apparently, they were banned for merely presenting different views from the official line in debating pandemic policies.

    1. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, et. al. editorialize. Therefore they are not neutral platforms, but publishers. I will not be sad to see Congress take the knife to them. Big yawn from me.

      Don’t have a particular beef with Amazon. They probably lean left (what tech company doesn’t?) but they’re in the business of getting me my package on time, not being mindless ideologues.

      1. They are not simply editorializing. They are acting as gatekeepers against dissent from certain types of government approved narratives.

        This is something that I thought would be at least a disturbing development to a libertarian opinion magazine.

  19. The subcommittee faults Google because “a significant number of entities…depend on Google for traffic”—as if Google is doing something wrong by building a search engine that millions of people choose to use, thereby making it a significant traffic source for sites across the web.

    Google is doing something wrong by engaging in regulatory capture and massive lobbying with the purpose of excluding competitors, giving themselves an advantage through political cronyism, and inflating their stock price. On top of that, they are interfering in our elections.

    And while I would like to live in a libertarian society where market mechanisms prevent such corruption and malfeasance, we don’t live in such a society. We live in a progressive welfare state, and progressive welfare states have to use non-libertarian state action to deal with such problems.

  20. Who is John Galt?

  21. The words “censor”, “censorship” and “censoring” appear 0 times in this article.

  22. Did anyone expect any other results from a Congress that “impeached” this president? There’s no screen time on this windmill

  23. There actually is no Constitutional Authority given to the federal government for even the Antitrust Act. In that respect; The federal government should keep their hand’s OFF of all Big Tech.

    BUT… the real root ‘issue’ might have been created by the federal government itself. Not just Big Tech but also Pharmaceuticals, The Right to Repair and thousands of other BIG ‘monopolized’ markets everyone sees but can’t pinpoint what exactly made them in “suppose to be free markets”.

    — To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries —

    !!! limited Times !!!

    There is absolutely no reason these companies shouldn’t have good competition in the market. The only *reasonable* problems that may exist are government stolen “commie-money” supporting them, monopolizing government copyright law or improper government regulation.

    1. Did Facebook Copyright “Human communities”? If so; that’s where the B.S. is. Government issuing patients and copyright for FAR too long and for FAR too stupid claims.

      I know they exist; I use to work for a company that would copyright anything they can think of like pencil sharpening methods… That kind of copyright law doesn’t “promote Progress” it “monopolizes”.

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