What market does Amazon monopolize?
Anti-bigness is not a competition policy
I have some giant thoughts on technology companies and antitrust enforcement, and as I’ve tried to write them down, they have become far too giant for one post.
So today’s item is going to limit itself to a single point which I think is relevant to all of these conversations but does not provide a satisfactory resolution of any of them — a politics that is opposed to bigness, as in the concentrated economic power of gigantic firms, is just not the same as a politics that is focused on competition policy, antitrust law, or busting monopolies.
Here I want to dissent a little bit from Ben Thompson, who has tried to gloss the same distinction as anti-monopoly vs. antitrust. But while it’s certainly true that the opponents of bigness throw the word “monopoly” around a lot, I think Matt Stoller got the order of considerations right in his book title “Goliath: The 100-year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy.” Stoller is opposed to things that are big, not thing…