Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

If ‘Big Tech’ Is a Huge Antitrust Problem, Why Are We Ignoring Telecom?

Karl Bode, for Techdirt, reacting to the coming antitrust investigations into big tech companies:

Oddly missing from coverage from these probes is the fact that much of this behavior by the Trump administration may (*gasp*) not be driven by a genuine interest in protecting markets and consumer welfare. For one, it’s hard to believe that an administration that has shown it’s little more than a rubber stamp for sectors like telecom is seriously worried about monopoly power. Two, it’s hard to believe an administration obsessed with nonexistent censorship is going to come at these inquiries with integrity, and not, say, as a vessel to pursue a pointed partisan persecution complex.

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Yet again, notice how telecom gets a free pass by the Trump administration? Notice how Silicon Valley is demonized, but telecom’s surveillance and anti-competitive gambits see zero backlash? I don’t think it’s happenstance that this new Trump “big tech” antitrust push comes as big telecom has asked for just such a push to aid its own competitive agenda. A lot of folks on both sides of the political aisle who’d like to see more done to rein in “big tech” seem a touch oblivious to the possibility that this new antitrust push may not be entirely in good faith.

Even if you give this administration a benefit of doubt that it does not deserve, and you assume that the coming antitrust investigations into tech companies will be in good faith and not be driven by a perverse desire to be unabashedly cruel, there is no possible circumstance under which these companies should be investigated and telecom giants should not.