Adam Thierer writes in Forbes about the myopic fear of monopoly power in the tech industry.
America’s information and communication technology sector is among the most innovative and competitive in the global economy today, but you wouldn’t know that from what some Beltway bureaucrats and academic critics claim. Despite showering consumers with a cornucopia of technological riches, ICT companies have become the new favorite whipping boy among many elites, who claim that high-tech “monopolies” threaten to quash our digital liberties.
In their myopia (and seeming desire to have someone or something intervene to “make things right”) they often fail to consider how markets respond to bone-headed moves. More often than not, markets evolve and bad code eventually gives way to better code; short-term “market failures” give rise to a world of innovative alternatives. Simply stated, cybercapitalism works.
A similar fear seems to pervade the debate over net neutrality, which is poised to continue in the Senate. Worried that broadband providers might one day censor consumer content, the FCC and net neutrality proponents are willing to take the risk of stifling broadband innovation and further penetration.
Baseless fears over what might one day happen if we don’t act now to stop the imagined havoc, should not determine the future of our tech sector. In almost all instances, market pressures resolve temporary delusions of grandeur by aspiring monopolists.