Posted by New York Times
By Jonathan Taplin
Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first outside investor, once wrote: “Competition is for losers. If you want to create and capture lasting value, look to build a monopoly.” Executives at Facebook, Google and Amazon seem to have taken his blunt advice.
If only the Trump administration could be so clear when it comes to its stance on competition. Instead, it has sent a schizophrenic message, which means the few remaining companies with a chance to rival big tech have no way of knowing where the administration stands or what values it will enforce.
On the one hand, the FCC has signaled it will eliminate net neutrality, the rule that ensures equal access to the internet for all websites. If this happens, internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T will be able to charge extra fees for high-quality streaming and exclude certain content from the all-in data plans they offer. Critics say this move would be devastating to the websites and applications that can’t pay the fees.