The Economic Perspective: “Attack on the Techs”

This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at the attack on the techs.  Mike, there are increasing calls for the large tech companies to be investigated.  One concern is over their size and whether that effectively curtails competition.  What kinds of thoughts do economists have on this issue?

  • Not the first time this has happened in our history
  • Early 20th century – trust busters – railroads, oil
  • Twenty years ago – with software computer companies
  • And recent worries about too little competition in airlines and mobile phone services
  • So size and number of competitors often an issue
  • But maybe a level higher for the tech giants given their ease of expanding (little costs of adding users) and that ease of networking for customers adds to their growth
  • But many questions – has growth just been natural; are they behaving to exclude competitors; will the “next great thing” be their downfall; what do we gain and lose if they are broken up or regulated?
  • I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.