Absentee Ownership: How Amazon, Facebook, and Google Ruin Commerce Without Noticing

Amazon’s algorithm goes crazy, and Facebook accidentally weaponizes Chinese counterfeiters during the Black Lives Matter protest.

by Matt Stoller
BIG by Matt Stoller

Tomorrow, the CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon will testify before the House Antitrust Subcommittee. If done right, this hearing could be the most important hearing on monopoly power in decades. So today, in preparation, I’m going to write about how big tech regulates American commerce, using some stories I worked on over the past few weeks.

Three housekeeping items. First, a colleague and I wrote up for Politico a piece on the American tradition of taking on monopoly power, going all the way back to the 1600s. Second, I co-authored a report explaining how Amazon acquired its market power and the list of laws that need reform to make the corporation safe for democracy. Third, there is another antitrust suit against the cheer monopolist Varsity Brands. If you’re in that world, there’s more info at: https://www.takebackcheer.com

And now… let’s start with a weird picture of a Chinese return address…

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