House antitrust report suggests big changes are coming to how Big Tech operates

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
Never said Romania is ok.
No, what you said was the U.S. was the one "most guilty", and your wall of words doesn't hide that this statement couldn't be more wrong. The US is better than most of Europe, and Europe is better than nearly all of Asia, Africa, and South America.

The biggest difference between the EU and US is that in the EU lobbying is not made to elected people.
Really? From Wikipedia:

"Today lobbying in the European Union is an integral and important part of decision-making in the EU....According to Austrian Member of the European Parliament ("MEP") Hans-Peter Martin, the value of lobby invitations and offers each individual MEP receives can reach up to €10,000 per week.[25]

In 2003 there were around 15,000 [lobbyists] in Brussels seeking to influence the EU’s legislation. Some 2,600 special interest groups had a permanent office in Brussels...


As you're from Romania, I assume you realize that MEPs are, indeed, "elected officials". I also note that just five oil companies alone spent €251m lobbying EU officials.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,668   +3,539
TechSpot Elite
No, what you said was the U.S. was the one "most guilty", and your wall of words doesn't hide that this statement couldn't be more wrong. The US is better than most of Europe, and Europe is better than nearly all of Asia, Africa, and South America.

Really? From Wikipedia:

"Today lobbying in the European Union is an integral and important part of decision-making in the EU....According to Austrian Member of the European Parliament ("MEP") Hans-Peter Martin, the value of lobby invitations and offers each individual MEP receives can reach up to €10,000 per week.[25]

In 2003 there were around 15,000 [lobbyists] in Brussels seeking to influence the EU’s legislation. Some 2,600 special interest groups had a permanent office in Brussels...


As you're from Romania, I assume you realize that MEPs are, indeed, "elected officials". I also note that just five oil companies alone spent €251m lobbying EU officials.
MEPs are elected, but the majority of policymakers are appointed (you can consider them indirectly "elected").

I'm not arguing that lobbying doesn't exist (even though the money being thrown around is still much lower than what you can see in the US), it's that its a different kind of lobbying. In the EU they have to convince the majority of countries of the benefit of what they lobbying for.

You mention Oil companies. Need I remind you that it's the US that buckled under the pressure of such lobbying in the last few years? And you should look at what pharma+insurance is spending in the US :) (note: numbers shown by the US for lobbying don't include campaign donations)
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
MEPs are elected
Thank you for acknowledging your error. We'll consider that point closed.

You mention Oil companies. Need I remind you that it's the US that buckled under the pressure of such lobbying in the last few years?
How so? Companies generally want higher prices for their products and less competition. But in the last 10 years, US policies promoting fracking have created hundreds of new competitors, and dropped the price of oil from $150+/barrel down to one fifth of that. The once-largest company in the World -- ExxonMobil, has dropped precipitously; in 2019 alone its profits dropped by a third, and its debt climbed 25%. This year will be substantially worse. And the one action which arguably benefits oil firms the most -- the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords -- was one of the most widely-approved actions among President Trump's constituent base. Giving the voters what they wish can hardly be considered "buckling to special interests".
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,118   +454
It's disturbing that companies selling virtual goods are richer than those selling material goods. But on the other hand, this is fully compatible with the stock market, where superinflated virtual bullshit is worth more than all material wealth on the planet combined. Fortunately, its virtual value can deflate virtually in one day, as opposed to material wealth.
 

EClyde

Posts: 2,402   +945
Which sounds remarkably like the tail end of Marx's famous quote: "...to each according to his needs." Here in the US we came up with a better system. Instead of allowing people -- and companies -- what they "need", we allow you to have what you can earn. It's worked out far better than nations who give you what they determine you "need" -- and keep from you what they feel you don't need.

Microsoft and Intel created the personal computer as we know it. Apple assisted in that PC revolution, and sparked the mobile revolution with its iPod, iPad, and iPhone, and Google popularized the search engine with its -- for then -- revolutionary PageRank algorithm. Not meaningful enough for you?

It's interesting that, 10-15 years ago all the talk was about breaking up Microsoft. Today, no one cares about Microsoft, because the market has already neutered Microsoft for us. The market solved the problem for us much better than any government action could have.
Post of the year Endymio! Great Job
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,668   +3,539
TechSpot Elite
Thank you for acknowledging your error. We'll consider that point closed.

How so? Companies generally want higher prices for their products and less competition. But in the last 10 years, US policies promoting fracking have created hundreds of new competitors, and dropped the price of oil from $150+/barrel down to one fifth of that. The once-largest company in the World -- ExxonMobil, has dropped precipitously; in 2019 alone its profits dropped by a third, and its debt climbed 25%. This year will be substantially worse. And the one action which arguably benefits oil firms the most -- the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords -- was one of the most widely-approved actions among President Trump's constituent base. Giving the voters what they wish can hardly be considered "buckling to special interests".
Oil prices were dropped because of Saudi Arabia and Russia, it had absolutely nothing to do with US policy. And I was obviously talking about the move away from investments in renewable energy, putting the US probably 10-20 years behind.

FYI the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords is not popular, not even close. It wasn't when it happened and it isn't now. You can't lie about something that is this obvious that can be fact check in 5 seconds, the vast majority of Americans hate that Trump did this stupid move. And I don't remember the withdrawal being a talking point during his campaign so who exactly voted knowing it will happen? Republicans certainly didn't know.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
Oil prices were dropped because of Saudi Arabia and Russia, it had absolutely nothing to do with US policy.
I'm sorry, but this is even worse than your comment that there's no lobbying in European politics. In the last decade, Saudi and Russian oil exports have much less than the rise in global demand. The real change was the United States, which went nearly overnight from the world's largest petroleum importer to a net exporter. Read any energy publication written in the past few years; it will tell you the same.

And I was obviously talking about the move away from investments in renewable energy, putting the US probably 10-20 years behind.
Behind? If you value reliable, inexpensive energy, the US is 10-20 years ahead of most of Europe. Certainly we're not building pipelines to make us dependent on Russian gas, like Germany is:

Germany won't abandon it's Russian gas pipeline, despite poisoning....

FYI the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords is not popular, not even close. It wasn't when it happened and it isn't now. You can't lie about something that is this obvious...the vast majority of Americans hate that Trump did this stupid move.
You didn't read what I wrote. Most Republicans support the withdrawal. Most Democrats do not. If the "vast majority" of Americans wished to be in the Paris Climate Accord, Obama would have put it to the Senate for ratification as a formal treaty. He did not, as he knew it wouldn't pass.

And I don't remember the withdrawal being a talking point during his campaign
He only mentioned it a few hundred times before being elected. One can excuse your missing it.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,668   +3,539
TechSpot Elite
I'm sorry, but this is even worse than your comment that there's no lobbying in European politics. In the last decade, Saudi and Russian oil exports have much less than the rise in global demand. The real change was the United States, which went nearly overnight from the world's largest petroleum importer to a net exporter. Read any energy publication written in the past few years; it will tell you the same.

Behind? If you value reliable, inexpensive energy, the US is 10-20 years ahead of most of Europe. Certainly we're not building pipelines to make us dependent on Russian gas, like Germany is:

Germany won't abandon it's Russian gas pipeline, despite poisoning....

You didn't read what I wrote. Most Republicans support the withdrawal. Most Democrats do not. If the "vast majority" of Americans wished to be in the Paris Climate Accord, Obama would have put it to the Senate for ratification as a formal treaty. He did not, as he knew it wouldn't pass.

He only mentioned it a few hundred times before being elected. One can excuse your missing it.
First off it's still Russia and Saudi Arabia. The price war Saudi started is why the price went down. This is a documented fact.

Second, The Paris Accord was a voluntary thing meant to unite the countries towards a common goal, not something that you should put into law (a pledge to reduce emissions). Nobody ever believed that the US would withdraw like that. Do not forget that he was pushing for more coal use in the US at that time.

It was purely a political move to pander to his most fervent followers. Multiple surveys say that the vast majority americans supported the accord even with republicans supporting Trump (because a 3rd of republicans did not support this). Trump knows he can't please the majority so he tried to work with the minority (he did in fact get voted in by the minority)

If you want to know what laws Obama actually put into place for the Paris Accord the go read the Climate Action Plan which was removed by Trump.

Trump only talked about leaving the Paris Accord in June 2017. The only thing Trump said during his 2016 campaign is call climate change a hoax which is (pardon my vulgar speech, but I can't use something else) retarded.

I don't get it. How does a non-american know more than you? Everything is so easy to fact check and research.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
The price war Saudi started is why the price went down. This is a documented fact.
Benchmark Crude, July 2008: $145.16 / bbl
Benchmark Crude, March 6 2020: $41.28 / bbl

The Saudis began their price war March 8 2020. Please explain how that action retroactively dropped prices for the 12 years beforehand. Time travel, perhaps?

The world oil price yesterday was $40.61, exactly what it was before the Saudi action. The long-term substantive drop in world oil prices is driven by the US fracking industry. Period.

From Forbes: How The Fracking Revolution Broke OPEC's Hold On Oil Prices

From the Manhattan Institute: Fracking technology has nearly doubled U.S. oil production...The massive increase in supply from U.S. shale fields triggered a roughly 50% drop in global oil and natural gas prices...." (link

From Columbia University: "The “fracking revolution” has enabled the US to become the world’s supplier of most of the new oil produced since 2008 and end OPEC’s control over oil prices..." (link).

From Fortune Magazine: " People don't understand how important the oil shale business has been for the global oil markets," said Adam Rozencwajg, managing partner of G&R Associates. "In the last ten years, world oil consumption has gone up by about 13 million barrels a day. Close to 75% of that oil came from U.S. shale..." (link).

Trump only talked about leaving the Paris Accord in June 2017. The only thing Trump said during his 2016 campaign is call climate change a hoax
Wrong again. Trump first mentioned it first in May 2016, and then again many times throughout his campaign. From NBC News, May 26 2016: (link).

Donald Trump Pledges to Rip Up Paris Climate Agreement in Energy Speech...
 
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Puiu

Posts: 4,668   +3,539
TechSpot Elite
Benchmark Crude, July 2008: $145.16 / bbl
Benchmark Crude, March 6 2020: $41.28 / bbl

The Saudis began their price war March 8 2020. Please explain how that action retroactively dropped prices for the 12 years beforehand. Time travel, perhaps?

The world oil price yesterday was $40.61, exactly what it was before the Saudi action. The long-term substantive drop in world oil prices is driven by the US fracking industry. Period.

From Forbes: How The Fracking Revolution Broke OPEC's Hold On Oil Prices

From the Manhattan Institute: Fracking technology has nearly doubled U.S. oil production...The massive increase in supply from U.S. shale fields triggered a roughly 50% drop in global oil and natural gas prices...." (link

From Columbia University: "The “fracking revolution” has enabled the US to become the world’s supplier of most of the new oil produced since 2008 and end OPEC’s control over oil prices..." (link).

From Fortune Magazine: " People don't understand how important the oil shale business has been for the global oil markets," said Adam Rozencwajg, managing partner of G&R Associates. "In the last ten years, world oil consumption has gone up by about 13 million barrels a day. Close to 75% of that oil came from U.S. shale..." (link).


Wrong again. Trump first mentioned it first in May 2016, and then again many times throughout his campaign. From NBC News, May 26 2016: (link).

Donald Trump Pledges to Rip Up Paris Climate Agreement in Energy Speech...

Given your record, apparently not quite so easy for you.
It seems I've been proven wrong on those two. Nice research. If only more could respond like you here :)
 

Ultraman1966

Posts: 159   +61
A $2B fine on a company which has made several trillion in revenues is trivial. Microsoft is no longer a monopoly today not because of the EU, but because explosive growth in the mobile segment supplanted the PC-centric model that made Microsoft king. The free market, in other words.

You mean like the huge, huge lead General Electric once had? At one point it manufactured nearly half of all electrical appliances in the world, not to mention a leading role in jet engines, industrial equipment, medical equipment, and a dozens. Just 12 short years ago, it was the largest corporation in the world ... and then ten years later, it wound up delisted from the Dow. Not because of antitrust action, but again due to the free market. Countless other examples could be given. No matter how large a company becomes, the moment it stops performing better than its competitors, it declines rapidly -- unless government steps in and artificially halts the process.
I don't disagree that the free market works but what happens when a company becomes so large it starts dictating the rules and terms for countries around the globe? What about crony capitalism? Yes, companies rise and fall but it doesn't mean that shouldn't have laws to help protect against monopolies. These are supposed to be for our benefit as citizens.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,741   +756
One change I would make is in the mergers and consolidations. Disallow it. Another has to come in and take on the struggling company to be sure there's plenty of competition. If they can't find a company, then recruit an investment firm.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
One change I would make is in the mergers and consolidations. Disallow it.
If the merged entity would have monopoly power, it's already disallowed. The FTC reviews all transactions over a certain size ($95M or less) and regularly denies many of them.

(Edit: "allow" = "already".)
 
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