Ep. 111: Is Silicon Valley home to this century’s robber barons? – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise30th August 2018
The denizens of Silicon Valley (and Seattle) have picked up a slew of nicknames: GAFA (for Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon); FAANG (add Netflix in there); or, most ominously, the Frightful Five (sub out Netflix, sub in Microsoft). The central charge is these firms are monopolizing their respective markets, and have achieved such dominance that their market positions are now unchallengable. The side effects may include dampened innovation, reduced labor power, and any number of democracy-is-in-peril concerns.
But my guest this episode, antitrust expert Nicolas Petit, argues against this alarmist case against the tech titans. Drawing from his 2016 paper, “Technology Giants, the Moligopoly Hypothesis and Holistic Competition: A Primer,” as well as new research from a forthcoming book, Petit makes the argument these “Frightful Five” firms engage in cutthroat competition with one another, benefiting the economy as a whole — and government regulation against these companies is premature.
Nicolas Petit is a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, a professor of law at the University of Leige in Belgium, and an expert in antitrust and its applications to the digital economy. You can download the episode by clicking the link above, and don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. Tell your friends, leave a review.
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