May 9, 2018
The future has arrived, and it is a radically different economy. Havas Media’s Tom Goodwin pointed out in 2015, “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”
April 9, 2018
Much of the political class in Washington, D.C. is currently holding its breath for the big event of the week: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s long-awaited Capitol Hill testimony, starting tomorrow morning before a joint session of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees and continuing the next day before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
March 26, 2018
Anti-technology hysteria continues to build in the European Union. Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, confirmed today that she is still considering breaking up Google into smaller companies, ostensibly to protect online competition. This follows the Commission’s proposals for “Fair Taxation of the Digital Economy” that appeared on March 21st, which seek to redefine where profits for digital companies are registered and subject to corporate taxation, as well as introducing a new “interim tax” on revenues to generate more money for the Commission’s coffers.
March 20, 2018
Automation has become somewhat of a dirty word recently. Fear of mass unemployment and widening inequality has led to calls for greater regulations of technology companies, expanded programs of redistribution, and even a “robot tax” to discourage adoption of labor-saving technologies. These fears, however, focus too much on the short-term disruption that creative destruction brings, ignoring the long-term opportunities for human advancement that comes along with it.
March 16, 2018
The Wall Street Journal editorial board was entirely correct yesterday when they said, “Republicans have spent the last year cutting taxes and regulations, which hasn’t been easy. But now some Members of Congress want to blunt their handiwork by passing an online sales tax. Yes, they actually believe this would be good policy and politics.”
March 9, 2018
As more and more services move into platform business models as the lower transaction costs they facilitate increase consumer welfare, platform firms need assurance that the law understands how they operate, and does not unfairly hinder their development. While much more needs to be done to improve the regulatory environment for these companies, acknowledging the competitive structure of two sided markets is a significant step in the right direction.
January 29, 2018
Laws about competition should be restricted to laws preventing government from playing favorites. Government-erected barriers against competition or innovation need to be torn down. As current antitrust law is itself a barrier to innovation, it should be one of the first targets.
January 17, 2018
Antitrust in particular (the original “...
December 21, 2017
December 14, 2017
The Walt Disney Company has come to an agreement to buy most of 21st Century Fox’s assets for $52.4 billion, but before the deal goes through, it will face scrutiny from antitrust regulators. The Department of Justice (DOJ), under the Trump administration, made the surprising and misguided decision last month to sue to block the merger of AT&T and Time Warner, so it’s hard to predict how DOJ will react to the Disney-Fox deal. Given that the deal will increase competition in online streaming and might encourage Hollywood to keep taking risks on big-budget films, the government should let the transaction go through.
Although Disney and Fox...