Tim Wu, the former FTC senior adviser who coined the term “net neutrality,” has expressed support for the breaking up of Big Tech monopolies.
“We live in America, which has a strong and proud tradition of breaking up companies that are too big for inefficient reasons… We need to reverse this idea that it’s not an American tradition. We’ve broken up dozens of companies,” declared Wu to the Verge. Speaking specifically about Facebook, Wu said: “I think if you took a hard look at the acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, the argument that the effects of those acquisitions have been anticompetitive would be easy to prove for a number of reasons.”
“I think some people in Silicon Valley are like, ‘Yeah, competition is for losers.’ If you’re competing with other people, you might have to make compromises or it’s better just to have one guy, the right guy, making all of the decisions. That’s what AT&T thought,” he continued. “They were like, ‘Listen. We know the phone system. We know what works. This internet stuff is never going to work.’ I think Facebook is in exactly the same position… They’re trying to set themselves up as regulated monopolist for the foreseeable future.”
Wu also claimed that America has to “simply ask [if] what a large company is doing is part of the competitive process.”
“The question is: is the defendant winning because they have a better product, or are they winning because they’re using dirty tricks?” he declared.
Wu has a new book coming out later this year titled The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age. The book will argue for aggressive antitrust enforcement of the Silicon Valley Masters o the Universe including Facebook and Google.