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Penny Arcade - Comic - Anti-Trust Issues

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited October 2020 in The Penny Arcade Hub
imagePenny Arcade - Comic - Anti-Trust Issues

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

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    V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Man, remember when we used to worry about Microsoft pulling this shit off?

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    Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    The biggest abuse of monopoly power is insisting that they always get to play the top hat

    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
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    KaitensatsumaKaitensatsuma Registered User regular
    Ok, but do you really want to go back to using Yahoo Mail?

    I can't even log into my account anymore. it doesn't take passwords

    But arguing that Google has a monopoly on Search Engines is still pretty funny, objectively speaking they don't, and compared to Bing and Yahoo Search which seem to heavily filter results, they seem the least exclusionary.

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    OctoberRavenOctoberRaven Plays fighting games for the story Skyeline Hotel Apartment 4ARegistered User regular
    Wouldn't mind if YouTube got permanently split from Google tbh. Maybe their practices would become better for crea-lol I can't say that with a straight face.

    Currently Most Hype For: VTMB2, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, Alan Wake 2 (Wake Harder)Currently Playin: Guilty Gear XX AC+R, Gat Out Of Hell
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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    It's hard to really hate google's monopoly, as they figured out a way to give away so many things for "free", because they are an ad company at heart and don't give much of a shit off profiting off anything else. So they make really good stuff like gmail, google search and docs/sheets/etc. and give it away free (I include those as they actually built them, unlike purchases of companies like youtube). And often with their products, they're not creating monopolies out of thin air but displacing existing ones or muscling out other dominant players. If it wasn't for google's office suite, MS Office would definitely own the whole shebang. Gmail shoved out Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. Android (which they bought way before it really got going, so I'm including it) did a similar thing for iPhones and disrupted Microsoft's plan for being the dominant alternative to Apple (which would always have a ceiling based on its luxury pricing, much like they did with their desktops).

    I hate google for many reasons, mostly related to them shitcanning products people use willy-nilly, but I think they buy a lot of goodwill by making products that actually work well. They made some shackles, but they were the most lightweight around, with velvet lining and had some stretch in the links. They didn't totally fumble it like most every other company (I'm looking at you Microsoft) and make it obvious to everyone that you were going to use their products whether you liked it or not. It will probably happen eventually, but I still haven't seen them adopt the "fuck it, we're on top so now lets get lazy and wring every ounce of 'value' out of what we got" approach that is so loathsome.

    I don't think most people deny that google has a monopoly or are a top player in a whole lot of things. I think the hard part is quantifying just how much they are an abusive monopoly.

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    BremenBremen Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    I hate google for many reasons, mostly related to them shitcanning products people use willy-nilly, but I think they buy a lot of goodwill by making products that actually work well.

    See also my opinion on Valve and Steam. Yes, monopolies are bad and I understand that, but it's hard to work up a proper anger at someone who acquires a de facto monopoly by being so much better for customers than anyone else that they dominate the market.

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    Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    Bremen wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    I hate google for many reasons, mostly related to them shitcanning products people use willy-nilly, but I think they buy a lot of goodwill by making products that actually work well.

    See also my opinion on Valve and Steam. Yes, monopolies are bad and I understand that, but it's hard to work up a proper anger at someone who acquires a de facto monopoly by being so much better for customers than anyone else that they dominate the market.

    One of the things a lot of people get wrong about monopolies is that they aren't inherently illegal. The law doesn't forbid taking control of a market, either through a better product/service or by creating/fully developing a nonexistent market. It's only when they start leveraging that market control to stifle competition that the monopoly becomes illegal, like Microsoft using their dominance of the home OS market to push Internet explorer (before it became an integrated part of Windows).

    Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion.

    - John Stuart Mill
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    Johnny17Johnny17 Registered User regular
    The problem is that they provide services of immense value while analysing you like a pavlovian dog. Monopoly abuse is not only if they directly force you into submission, but also indirectly by giving those who waive their rights an immense advantage that people cannot afford to miss out. And it is impossible to escape their tracking even if you don't use google services. Pretty much every website nowadays has google trackers or google fonts or apis and even with tools like NoScript it's pretty much impossible to get rid of everything. Even in countries where user consent is required by law like the european union tracking is usually the default and disabling everything is a hassle with convoluted menues. And what they can't get from websites, they buy from other companies which as a customer you didn't even know you gave them the right to do so. They control 3/4s of the smartphone market with an OS designed to suit their tracking needs and where apps and webpages and the OS communicate wildly with each other with you not having a clue who gives what to whom. They employ thousands of engineers whose jobs come down to finding new ways of extracting as much user data as possible without knowledge or consent while technically working in the limits of the law (and ignoring its spirit).

    And making exceeding products is much less hard if you can just throw tons of data in a neural network processed by larger server farms where regular engineers have to come up with smart alorithms.

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    BropocalypseBropocalypse Registered User regular
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    Every now and then they have to make a show of doing something. If there's a long doldrum between controversies maybe they'll do a big drawn out inquiry like with Zuckerberg, and accomplish just as much (a bunch of apologies and updated ToS and other gestures that require no effort or change).

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    NamrokNamrok Registered User regular
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    I think it's still pure self preservation. Google has enough power to decide elections. They may view it as a do or die moment. Break Google's power now, before they permanently subvert our democracy, and more importantly to them, jeopardize their careers. It's a tepidly bipartisan issue. At least for now. Probably won't last long before things polarize around it.

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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    Namrok wrote: »
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    I think it's still pure self preservation. Google has enough power to decide elections. They may view it as a do or die moment. Break Google's power now, before they permanently subvert our democracy, and more importantly to them, jeopardize their careers. It's a tepidly bipartisan issue. At least for now. Probably won't last long before things polarize around it.

    I think there's a very obvious reason why google is having an executive branch antitrust investigation opened on it at this particular moment.

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    Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    Namrok wrote: »
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    I think it's still pure self preservation. Google has enough power to decide elections. They may view it as a do or die moment. Break Google's power now, before they permanently subvert our democracy, and more importantly to them, jeopardize their careers. It's a tepidly bipartisan issue. At least for now. Probably won't last long before things polarize around it.

    I think there's a very obvious reason why google is having an executive branch antitrust investigation opened on it at this particular moment.

    Not really... a lot of this parallels the House report that came out two weeks ago.

    Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion.

    - John Stuart Mill
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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    Namrok wrote: »
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    I think it's still pure self preservation. Google has enough power to decide elections. They may view it as a do or die moment. Break Google's power now, before they permanently subvert our democracy, and more importantly to them, jeopardize their careers. It's a tepidly bipartisan issue. At least for now. Probably won't last long before things polarize around it.

    I think there's a very obvious reason why google is having an executive branch antitrust investigation opened on it at this particular moment.

    Not really... a lot of this parallels the House report that came out two weeks ago.

    You mean the report that equally recommended antitrust action on Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google? Oddly enough, only one of those four have been taken up by this administration. I wonder what the difference could be? Especially since Google (Alphabet) is the third largest fish. Really, it is impossible to figure out.

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    LieutenantDanLieutenantDan Registered User regular
    The other tech companies donate to Democrats too. It's just because youtube is having more success cutting off Q bullshit than, say, Facebook, who is playing the silliest game of whack a mole

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    MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    Yah, this is absolutely retaliation for Youtube corralling Q and the Hunter Biden story. The real surprise is that the Senate hasn't tried to haul in Twitter yet.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Hail Hydra
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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    yeah I mean, the current admin doesn't like any of the above companies

    hold your head high soldier, it ain't over yet
    that's why we call it the struggle, you're supposed to sweat
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    Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    Namrok wrote: »
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    I think it's still pure self preservation. Google has enough power to decide elections. They may view it as a do or die moment. Break Google's power now, before they permanently subvert our democracy, and more importantly to them, jeopardize their careers. It's a tepidly bipartisan issue. At least for now. Probably won't last long before things polarize around it.

    I think there's a very obvious reason why google is having an executive branch antitrust investigation opened on it at this particular moment.

    Not really... a lot of this parallels the House report that came out two weeks ago.

    You mean the report that equally recommended antitrust action on Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google? Oddly enough, only one of those four have been taken up by this administration. I wonder what the difference could be? Especially since Google (Alphabet) is the third largest fish. Really, it is impossible to figure out.

    The difference is that they have Google dead to rights on serious anti-competitive behavior. They've got decent, but harder to make cases against Facebook and Amazon, and their case against Apple is absolute clownshoes (unless you believe walled gardens should not exist).

    Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion.

    - John Stuart Mill
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    NamrokNamrok Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    Namrok wrote: »
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    I think it's still pure self preservation. Google has enough power to decide elections. They may view it as a do or die moment. Break Google's power now, before they permanently subvert our democracy, and more importantly to them, jeopardize their careers. It's a tepidly bipartisan issue. At least for now. Probably won't last long before things polarize around it.

    I think there's a very obvious reason why google is having an executive branch antitrust investigation opened on it at this particular moment.

    Not really... a lot of this parallels the House report that came out two weeks ago.

    You mean the report that equally recommended antitrust action on Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google? Oddly enough, only one of those four have been taken up by this administration. I wonder what the difference could be? Especially since Google (Alphabet) is the third largest fish. Really, it is impossible to figure out.

    The difference is that they have Google dead to rights on serious anti-competitive behavior. They've got decent, but harder to make cases against Facebook and Amazon, and their case against Apple is absolute clownshoes (unless you believe walled gardens should not exist).

    Yeah, to hear it from a couple progressive news outlets, they can basically cross out "Microsoft", write in "Google", and recycle the case the won in the 90's. One specific example I heard that slots in quite nicely with that precedent is Google paying Apple just oodles of money to make Google the default search engine on all iDevices.

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    Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    They've also got them doing things like the Google Maps price hike (combined with buying out their strongest competitor).

    Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion.

    - John Stuart Mill
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    TravanTravan Registered User regular
    Jerry spitting fire in this newspost goddamn. Dude knows how to make a point when he isn’t flogging merch or promoting a livestream.

    Gamertag- Travan7838


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    palidine40palidine40 Registered User regular
    Huh... differing industries is different from owning all of the market in a single industry. You could host on AWS, MS, or one of many many other hosting solutions. You can buy apple/HTC/Samsung phones, though there are mainly two OS's for phones (though there are many other smaller ones). There are a hundred different email providers. There are four major competing browsers (chromes a cpu hog), and search engines. They seem to have certainly gained Your trust, but maybe cornered one of the many markets (search engine). I'm assuming you don't actually have an android phone when you wrote this, as is a common trolling of people who don't own android. And trolling being kind of the theme of this comic XD

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    porgojporgoj Registered User new member
    I'm reminded of Bismarck and the failure to maintain the balance of power. These are all companies that have market dominance in some field, largely by being the first and/or best to develop that market, and by doing so gained the scale, capital, and synergizing assets to compete in related fields. If I were trying to make the next facebook, this probably would bother me. Competing with companies developing that same niche, but with the advantage of money, industry contacts, and skilled employees would absolutely suck.

    As a consumer though, I like that they are powerful enough to keep each other in check as they move out of their own oligopolies--and sometimes apply pressure in these markets as well. Bing isnt even close to unseating google in search, but more than anyone else they forced Google to realize that they couldn't half-ass things and assume people would have no alternatives.

    Maybe an ideal world, no dominant tech companies would exist, so no big companies would be needed to keep them in check. In practice, the nature of tech is that network effects, economies of scale, and synergistic knowledge/skills will drive a positive feedback loop for the most successful firms--meaning that even if you break up all the Microsofts, you just clear room for the rise of google.

    More targeted regulation and consumer protections carry their own pitfalls, but they might be more sustainable as a long term fix

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    Chris FOMChris FOM Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    Namrok wrote: »
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    I think it's still pure self preservation. Google has enough power to decide elections. They may view it as a do or die moment. Break Google's power now, before they permanently subvert our democracy, and more importantly to them, jeopardize their careers. It's a tepidly bipartisan issue. At least for now. Probably won't last long before things polarize around it.

    I think there's a very obvious reason why google is having an executive branch antitrust investigation opened on it at this particular moment.

    Not really... a lot of this parallels the House report that came out two weeks ago.

    You mean the report that equally recommended antitrust action on Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google? Oddly enough, only one of those four have been taken up by this administration. I wonder what the difference could be? Especially since Google (Alphabet) is the third largest fish. Really, it is impossible to figure out.

    The cases got split. The DoJ took Google and Apple while the FTC got Facebook and Amazon. They’re all proceeding but of the DoJ’s 2 cases the one against Google is far simpler and more straightforward which is why it came out first. The FTC is still moving forward on their two also and we’ll hear from them too.

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    dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    Chris FOM wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    Namrok wrote: »
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    I think it's still pure self preservation. Google has enough power to decide elections. They may view it as a do or die moment. Break Google's power now, before they permanently subvert our democracy, and more importantly to them, jeopardize their careers. It's a tepidly bipartisan issue. At least for now. Probably won't last long before things polarize around it.

    I think there's a very obvious reason why google is having an executive branch antitrust investigation opened on it at this particular moment.

    Not really... a lot of this parallels the House report that came out two weeks ago.

    You mean the report that equally recommended antitrust action on Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google? Oddly enough, only one of those four have been taken up by this administration. I wonder what the difference could be? Especially since Google (Alphabet) is the third largest fish. Really, it is impossible to figure out.

    The cases got split. The DoJ took Google and Apple while the FTC got Facebook and Amazon. They’re all proceeding but of the DoJ’s 2 cases the one against Google is far simpler and more straightforward which is why it came out first. The FTC is still moving forward on their two also and we’ll hear from them too.

    Citation needed.

    (By someone who would actually know.)

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    tgbennett30tgbennett30 Registered User regular
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    Quoting Earl Long (Louisiana governor) from the 40's or 50's, when quizzed by a reported if he had ever bought a congressman: "I have *never* bought a congressman, sir."

    *pause*

    "Renting them's cheaper."

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    Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    Chris FOM wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    Namrok wrote: »
    Wow, I'd've thought by now there'd be enough bought-off congressfolk that this wouldn't happen.

    I think it's still pure self preservation. Google has enough power to decide elections. They may view it as a do or die moment. Break Google's power now, before they permanently subvert our democracy, and more importantly to them, jeopardize their careers. It's a tepidly bipartisan issue. At least for now. Probably won't last long before things polarize around it.

    I think there's a very obvious reason why google is having an executive branch antitrust investigation opened on it at this particular moment.

    Not really... a lot of this parallels the House report that came out two weeks ago.

    You mean the report that equally recommended antitrust action on Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google? Oddly enough, only one of those four have been taken up by this administration. I wonder what the difference could be? Especially since Google (Alphabet) is the third largest fish. Really, it is impossible to figure out.

    The cases got split. The DoJ took Google and Apple while the FTC got Facebook and Amazon. They’re all proceeding but of the DoJ’s 2 cases the one against Google is far simpler and more straightforward which is why it came out first. The FTC is still moving forward on their two also and we’ll hear from them too.

    Citation needed.

    (By someone who would actually know.)

    This is not new or obscure information.
    In June 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) split jurisdiction over the four technology companies that have recently raised the most significant competition concerns: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Under the arrangement, the FTC took jurisdiction over Amazon and Facebook, and the DOJ assumed jurisdiction over Apple and Google.

    Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion.

    - John Stuart Mill
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    shadowysea07shadowysea07 Registered User regular
    Weren't another reason for monopoly laws was because the phone company couldn't manage as a single entity and had to be split?

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    H3KnucklesH3Knuckles But we decide which is right and which is an illusion.Registered User regular
    edited November 2020
    Weren't another reason for monopoly laws was because the phone company couldn't manage as a single entity and had to be split?

    Antitrust law in the US goes back to the late 1800's, but the first really landmark cases were the Northern Securities Company (1902, tried to build a transport monopoly in the north west), Standard Oil (1911), and US Steel (1920, won their case).

    Ma Bell getting split up came later (1982), and my understanding is that they were being obstructionist about carrying computer transmissions over the phone lines (basically they wanted to have control over any equipment connected to their system, and electronics companies didn't want to play ball), so various interests put pressure on the government to step in, causing AT&T to be split into the long distance phone carrier and a number of regional phone companies.

    H3Knuckles on
    If you're curious about my icon; it's an update of the early Lego Castle theme's "Black Falcons" faction.
    camo_sig2-400.png
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    V1mV1m Registered User regular
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    Weren't another reason for monopoly laws was because the phone company couldn't manage as a single entity and had to be split?

    Antitrust law in the US goes back to the late 1800's, but the first really landmark cases were the Northern Securities Company (1902, tried to build a transport monopoly in the north west), Standard Oil (1911), and US Steel (1920, won their case).

    Ma Bell getting split up came later (1982), and my understanding is that they were being obstructionist about carrying computer transmissions over the phone lines (basically they wanted to have control over any equipment connected to their system, and electronics companies didn't want to play ball), so various interests put pressure on the government to step in, causing AT&T to be split into the long distance phone carrier and a number of regional phone companies.

    A salient reminder that the rent-seeking bullshit that eg: Apple inflict on their customers is by no means a new attitude.

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