Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

Internet Players v. Communications Carriers

with one comment

Mammoth firms like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Sun, IBM, etc. are not those threatening the future of the Internet.

Over the past decade, those firms have fueled growth and spurred innovation. In fortcoming years, they will likely continue to bring vibrant competition on Internet markets.

In his latest piece on the future of the Internet, Farhad Manjoo (Slate) incriminates another group of market players, the big American telcos:

This future [the future of the Internet] depends on fast and ubiquitous broadband, which, in the oligopolistic American telecom market, isn’t guaranteed to happen soon. Over the next few years, major American mobile carriers will adopt faster “4G” wireless Internet systems—but will they be fast, cheap, and reliable enough to spur the sort of innovation I’m describing? I don’t know. Honestly, I’m pessimistic.

And a question: with their increased, some would say obsessive, focus against Google, Microsoft, IBM, etc. are Western antitrust enforcers shooting the right target(s)?

Written by Nicolas Petit

28 March 2011 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Presumably the counter-argument would be that telecommunications is a natural monopoly, whereas software and online services don’t have to be. So antitrust enforcement to prevent excessive consolidation in that industry should be more likely to have beneficial effects down the line.

    One rather suspect that the real reason is that the Telcos just have much more experience dealing with the regulators, though.


    29 March 2011 at 2:31 pm

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