France’s nuclear power sector is not delivering https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/opinion/frances-nuclear-power-sector-is-not-delivering/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=mastodon #ElectricitédeFrance #France #monopolies #nuclearenergy
#USA #Google #Antitrust #Monopolies #BigTech: "Normally on Sunday’s I do a round-up of monopoly-related news for paid subscribers. That’ll be at the end of this email. But today, I want to do a bit of a summary of the Google antitrust trial, since we’re investing so much into covering it. The key question is as follows. Google is a very powerful corporation worth around $2 trillion, it controls access to the internet, and it will roll out generative artificial intelligence for billions of people. And yet, the public hasn’t heard that much about a major trial where the firm and its executives are being asked how they secured that immense power. Why?
There are several possibilities, but in my view, the most obvious reason is that the judge in the case, Amit Mehta, is effectively holding the contest in secret. Last week, according to our calculations, over half of the trial, including testimony from key witnesses, happened in closed session, unavailable to the public. Why? Here’s Mehta in a pre-trial hearing in August, explaining his thinking to Google’s attorneys."
Microsoft's Phil Spencer: Acquiring Nintendo would be a "good move for both companies" https://www.gamesindustry.biz/microsofts-phil-spencer-acquiring-nintendo-would-be-a-good-move-for-both-companies #videogames #videogaming #GIbiz #Microsoft #Nintendo #monopolies
Stop consolidating companies. Stop with the monopolization of all businesses.
"Mogul Byron Allen makes $10 bln bid for Disney's ABC, other networks"
Ten dollars for a block of cheese?! Who is making the supermarkets do this?! | @firstdogonthemoon https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/aug/25/ten-dollars-for-a-block-of-cheese-who-is-making-the-supermarkets-do-this #cartoons #cheese #monopolies
A simple step to look at company mergers — who is merging and why — and hedge funds and multi-millionaires go beserk.
Matt Stoller's BIG newsletter is always worth reading, and this is a good one.
Capitalism And #Monopolies
Dumber than Dumber?? AKA LOSERS!
Since the early 1980's the number of Media Companies CONTROLLING the #BULK of #Media have shrunk from 50 to just 5? We've gone from a media landscape operated by a reasonable amount of #controlling_interest to a #REALITY_DOMINATED by mere MONOPOLIES -- Just barely #sneaking under the #enforcement of #ANTI_TRUST_LAWS.
In this episode we are going to talk about the #CONSOLIDATION OF #AMERICAN_MEDIA in the hands of a few #ULTRA_POWERFUL Companies and what that means in a time when the very #WEALTHY have outside #INFLUENCE over #Public_Policy. Aug 28, 2020
You're probably aware that Disney owns Marvel and Lucasfilm, but do you really know how consolidated the American media landscape is? In this episode, we're looking at how just five mega-corporations control the #entirety of #US_Media.
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So KKR wants to "buy" Simon and Schuster...to bleed it dry. They're not even capitalists, they're pirates
#VampireCapitalists #KKR #Monopolies #DestroyingForProfit
#Neoliberalism #USA #Monopolies #Oligopolies #Inequality: "Among the debits: deregulation, which was supposed to spur competition, has not slowed the trend toward monopoly. Despite the Telecommunications Act, just three companies—Verizon, T-Mobile, and A.T. & T.—provide ninety-nine per cent of wireless service. Six companies dominate the media in the United States: Comcast, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount Global, the Fox Corporation, and Sony. Book publishing in the United States is dominated by the so-called Big Five: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. The music industry is dominated by just three corporate players: the Universal, Sony, and Warner music divisions.
The big fish, with their piles of capital, keep swallowing up the little fish. The Big Five would now be the Big Four if Penguin Random House’s deal to acquire Simon & Schuster had not been ruled a violation of antitrust law last fall. Of the twelve most valuable companies in the world, eight of which are tech businesses, all are monopolies or near-monopolies."
It's this belief that leads the right to embrace #monopolies as "efficient": "A company's dominance is evidence of its quality. Customers flock to it, and competitors fail to lure them away, therefore monopolies are the public's best friend."
But this only makes sense if you don't understand how monopolies can prevent competitors.
The Cartel That Controls the US Food System - four large #Ag giants control 80% of US food. supply, and it’s not a good thing as one might imagine. Solution: Break them up and bring back the family farm. #Agriculture #Farming #monopolies #FoodSupply #FoodSupplyChain https://statecraft.beehiiv.com/p/the-cartel-that-controls-us-meat
Reminder, the government is requesting your feedback on new Mergers Guidelines. I commented. I encourage you to do the same. The Guidelines are easy to read and understandable. You can have a say in increasing the prevention of the consolidation of U.S. industry in the hands of the few. If wealth accumulates at the top, they simply consume any competition. Think GDP. Think innovation. Think climate change. Think education. Think access to healthcare. Think what your vision for the America of the future looks like. Yes, consolidation or absorption of competition impacts all of these. Read the new guidelines, authored by the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission and let our government know your opinion and suggestions.
🐋 The dirty little secret that could bring down Big Tech
「 The point is that the entire model deployed by VCs is to profit by disrupting the marketplace with predatory pricing, and leave the losses to the suckers who buy into the IPO. A company that engages in predatory pricing and its late-stage investors might not recoup, but the venture investors do 」
The Atlantic: Biden Declares War on the Cult of Efficiency
by Franklin Foer
"The arrival of the Reagan era...[made] clear that the days of aggressive antitrust enforcement were over.
In the four decades since, the American economy has grown dangerously concentrated, dominated by a shrinking number of airlines, banks, tech companies, and pharmaceutical firms (to name just a few examples). Corporate titans have amassed outsize influence over the political process, smothered start-ups, and often treated consumers with shocking indifference."
#Republican members of Congress urge #FTC to drop case against #Microsoft-Activision https://www.gamesindustry.biz/republican-members-of-congress-urge-ftc-to-drop-case-against-microsoft-activision #videogames #videogaming #GIbiz #Microsoft #merger #monopolies
Of course they would, they're the biggest scum of the Earth.
#USA #FTC #Monopolies #Antitrust #Oligopolies: "Take the WSJ: since Khan took office, they have published 67 vicious editorials attacking her and her policies. Khan is living rent-free in Rupert Murdoch's head. Not only that, he's given her the presidential suite! You love to see it.
These attacks are worth reading, if only to see how flimsy and frivolous they are. One major subgenre is that Khan shouldn't be bringing any action against Amazon, because her groundbreaking scholarship about the company means she has a conflict of interest. Holy moly is this a stupid thing to say. The idea that the chair of an expert agency should recuse herself because she is an expert is what the physicists call not even wrong.
But these attacks are even more laughable due to who they're coming from: people who have the most outrageous conflicts of interest imaginable, and who were conspicuously silent for years as the FTC's revolving door admitted the a bestiary of swamp-creatures so conflicted it's a wonder they managed to dress themselves in the morning."
''The Republican project is a matter of getting turkeys to vote for Christmas by doing a lot of culture war bullshit, cruelly abusing disfavored sexual and racial minorities. This wins support from low-information voters who'll vote against their class interests and support more monopolies, more tax cuts for the rich, and more cuts to the services they rely on.''
The paper sent seismic shocks through both legal and economic circles, and goosed the #NeoBrandeisian movement (sneeringly dismissed as "#HipsterAntitrust"). This movement is a rebuke to #Reaganomics, with its celebration of #monopolies, #TrickleDown, #offshoring, corporate dark money, revolving-door #RegulatoryCapture, and companies that are simultaneously #TooBigToFail and #TooBigToJail.
I think Video games are about to get more expensive and more dull.
"Microsoft wins U.S. court nod to buy Activision in loss for FTC"
"Once you trap hundreds of millions — or billions — of people inside a walled fortress, where warlords who preside over have unlimited power over their captives, and those captives the are denied any right to liberate themselves, enshittification will surely and inevitably follow."
What's the difference between #Mastodon and #Threads? Next time someone tells you they're both not-#Twitter and that's it, #recommend them to read this #article by @pluralistic. It's about #capitalism, #monopolies and the way #corporate #SocialMedia has locked us in their #VirtualSpaces, without right to appeal.
#AbolishFacebook #AbolishMeta #AbolishZuckerberg #AbolishMusk
In case you were wondering, we have definitely returned to the age of "you must use this specific browser (Chrome) to use this website".
I run into so many sites that are either obviously not tested in Firefox at all or which explicitly tell the user to use Chrome.
I'm not even sure what it is about Firefox that causes the sites to be incompatible, because life is too short to debug someone else's shit, but the fix is always "copy link to Chrome".
Too bad we don't have even a whisper of the 90s regulatory environment to go after Google the way they went after Microsoft for all their monopolistic practices (which was pathetic, but something).
I find Future Tense generally worth my time, but definitely value for your half hour here.
@pluralistic being his usual articulate self explaining the abuse and exploitation inherent in modern tech platforms, and how we could push back.
Future Tense: Cory Doctorow: Platform capitalism and the curse of "enshittification"
Following on from: 'The UK's water firms were privatised without any outstanding debts over thirty years ago.... now, the privatised #infrastructure (regional) #monopolies have around £62bn in debt, but are still failing to deliver an adequate service'...
It seems that in the next decade our #water bills will be rising by up to 40% to pay for the #infrastructure #investment that is required... again emphasising, that water companies' debt was funnelled into dividends not repairing the system
"Medical costs are up and wages are not for one reason that is very easily understood by Americans: #monopolies. Hospitals, doctor’s practices, health insurance, pharmaceuticals, ambulances, nursing homes, rehab facilities: Every part of our health care world is increasingly controlled by greedy bankers who kill people for money."
- David Dayen and Matt Stoller, "Moving Past Neoliberalism Is a Policy Project"
All you need to know about how rentier #capitalism works in one bit of data:
The UK's water firms were privatised without any outstanding debts over thirty years ago.... now, the privatised #infrastructure (regional) #monopolies have around £62bn in debt, but are still failing to deliver an adequate service.
If that debt has not been used to invest sufficiently in the #infrastructure, which the firms now (grudgingly) admit,, you might wonder where has it gone?
I leave that for you to guess!
@pluralistic Cory's latest on Amazon is a must read: https://pluralistic.net/2023/06/14/flywheel-shyster-and-flywheel/#unfulfilled-by-amazon
I've been locked into Amazon Prime for a while: I have movies on Prime Video, and a fuckton of Kindle books.
There Are Ways to turn these DRMed assets into more portable, perpetually accessible assets, and once that is accomplished, I think I'll break my lockin. They've been raising prices and been definitely shittier in letting me find what I want. #Amazon #Monopolies #Monopolists #FightTheOligarchy
— Slack became too expensive, Twitter is a shit show and Reddit is basically banning 3rd party app for profit !
— So you start to understand what I was trying to explain about the perils of centralized platforms ?
— Yeah, you were totally right. So, right now, me and my community are moving.
— Oh ? Nice. Where ? Mastodon ? A Matrix server ?
— We have a very nice Discord and that’s awesome.
@eighthave I'm against #monopolies, but I fail to see a clear monopolistic behavior here. This check does not prevent running sideloaded apps, but it displays to users that there is some indication of potentially outdated and therefore unsafe apps. The targetSDK version is one of the few (and not that bad) programmatically checkable values.
Increasing the targetSDK version is just good practice, as it tightens the SELinux sandbox of apps and can enforce better/more private API usage.
#AI #GenerativeAI #BigTech #Monopolies #Automation: "We believe the A.I. revolution could even usher in the dark prophecies envisioned by Karl Marx over a century ago. The German philosopher was convinced that capitalism naturally led to monopoly ownership over the “means of production” and that oligarchs would use their economic clout to run the political system and keep workers poor.
Fortunately, Marx was wrong about the 19th-century industrial age that he inhabited. Industries emerged much faster than he expected, and new firms disrupted the economic power structure. Countervailing social powers developed in the form of trade unions and genuine political representation for a broad swath of society. And governments developed the ability to regulate industrial excesses. The result was greater competition, higher wages and more robust democracies.
Today, those countervailing forces either don’t exist or are greatly weakened. Generative A.I. requires even deeper pockets than textile factories and steel mills. As a result, most of its obvious opportunities have already fallen into the hands of Microsoft, with its market capitalization of $2.4 trillion, and Alphabet, worth $1.6 trillion."
#10yrsago California wants an end to taxpayer subsidy for WalMart https://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/06/03/california-to-wal-mart-enough-no-more-taxpayer-subsidized-profits-for-you/?sh=24939e7a48ba
#10yrsago Porno copyright trolls #Prenda: expert says they pirated their own movies to get victims to download https://www.techdirt.com/2013/06/03/new-anti-prenda-court-filing-lays-out-tons-evidence-suggesting-john-steele-uploaded-videos-to-bittorrent-himself/
#10yrsago #ThisAmericanLife on the awful, crooked mess of the #patent system https://www.thisamericanlife.org/496/when-patents-attack-part-two
#5yrsago How do we fix #IoT security without blocking #interoperability and creating #monopolies? https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/03/opinion/westworld-internet-of-things.html
I am a proud Linux user on a device which costs as a MacBook Pro but which is not remotely comparable to it in terms of quality. I am often conflicted and doubtful, but I am happy because I am #free.
How can we solve America's wage-stagnation crisis? We could raise the minimum wage and/or create a federal jobs guarantee.
How can we solve America's workplace abuse crisis? We could allow workers to unionize.
How can we solve America's inequality crisis? We could #TaxBillionaires.
How can we solve America's monopoly crisis? We could break up #monopolies.
I'd not heard this term "hipster #antitrust" before, but it seems like a ridiculous framing.
"#Khan has been called a proponent of “hipster antitrust,” a school of antitrust that doesn’t just consider price controls as a measure of anti-competitiveness, but also thinks about the structure of markets."
You mean, antitrust should actually care about #monopolies ? What now?
It's insane to me that anyone could seriously try to defend the "antitrust" of the last 3 decades.
I am happily overlooking incompatibilities and #bugs, I care very little about any trade-off.
#FreeSoftware is awesome, no matter how itchy it becomes.
Monopsonies are the less-well-known twin brothers of #monopolies, markets in which *buyers* (rather than sellers) have power. Monoposony may be an obscure concept - unlike "monopoly," there's no family-destroying board-game to get us familiarized with the term. But monopsonies are just as toxic as monopolies, especially for workers, where an employer's ability to restrict the places where you can sell your labor can force workers into dangerous, miserable conditions.
It's a shame that there doesn't appear to be any presence from Canadaland on the Fediverse yet... They are excellent journalists, and their series on Monopolies and Oligopolies of Canada was as revolting as it was fascinating. Highly recommended, even for those outside of Canada.
Canada fails yet again to come up with sane and useful legislation and instead gives us C-18.
If you missed it, here's the data on #sewage spills for last year... and sadly for us in the #north our two local #water companies accounted for around 40% of all spills...looks like we need #FergalSharkey up here....
This is what happened when you privatise local #monopolies & then allow the providers to be lightly regulated; large investment firms treat water as a rent opportunity, with little concern for the quality of water provision!
They haven't made a secret of this. 40 years ago, the antitrust bar underwent a hostile takeover by billionaires' lickspittles from the #ChicagoSchoolOfEconomics, who explicitly argued that #monopolies were *good* and demanded that judges ignore 75 years of jurisprudence and use antitrust law to *defend* monopolies:
The collapse of competition in the US airline industry is the result of a deliberate policy, the "#ConsumerWelfare" theory of #antitrust, which says that #monopolies are "efficient" and good for the public. It's a theory that took root under #Reagan, and was reaffirmed and expanded by every president, R or D, since.
At the end of *Break 'Em Up,* #ZephyrTeachout's outstanding 2020 book on #monopolies, Teachout has some choice words for "#consumerism" as a theory of change. She writes that if you're on your way to a protest against a new #Amazon warehouse but you never make it because you waste too much time looking for a mom-and-pop stationers to sell you a marker to write your protest sign, Amazon wins:
The market is concentrated into #monopolies. We have five big publishers, four big studios, three big labels, two big ad-tech companies, and one gargantuan ebook/audiobook company. The internet has been degraded into "five giant websites, each filled with screenshots from the other four":
Oh yeah. I published a blog post a couple of days ago (I actually wrote it a couple of weeks ago). Just in case anyone might be interested:
GPT could centralise power online like nothing we've seen
#5yrsago The coming #EU #privacy regulation will end up remaking the world’s web https://www.politico.eu/article/europe-data-protection-privacy-standards-gdpr-general-protection-data-regulation/
#1yrago #Rail #monopolies destroyed the American supply chain https://pluralistic.net/2022/02/04/up-your-nose/#rail-barons
#1yrago When crypto-exchanges go broke, you'll lose it all https://pluralistic.net/2022/02/03/liquidation-preference/#we-live-in-a-society
#1yrago A covid vaccine for your airways https://pluralistic.net/2022/02/04/up-your-nose/#nasal-vaccines
#1yrago Money is power: A political economy parable (with a side of environmental racism) https://pluralistic.net/2022/02/03/liquidation-preference/#sweet-sweet-corruption
#1yrago How #noncompetes shackle workers to dead-end jobs https://pluralistic.net/2022/02/02/its-the-economy-stupid/#neofeudal
Penguin and Simon Schuster have scrapped their merger. Excellent news if you like books, authors, culture, ideas, minority voices, and common sense. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/nov/21/penguin-simon-schuster-merger-abandoned-paramount-bertelsmann