During lockdown, the digital economy has been essential and has boomed. But are private network monopolies in the public interest?
The early 1900s saw the first attempt to challenge the might of huge corporations in the US such as Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. The anti-trust movement lead to the breakup of these behemoths.
But the new economic ideology in the 80s changed the politics and the anti-trust drive withered. Recently the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook etc have lead to a revived interest in the negative impacts of quasi monopolies. But who is going to take on these 21st century behemoths, especially when they are likely to paint themselves as the heros of the lockdown?
Ariel Ezrachi, a leading thinker in this area, provides an introduction to the issues followed by discussion. He joins a discussion panel with Tim Cowan, a leading competition lawyer and Miriam Brett, an author of Common Wealth’s Report – Democratic Digital Infrastructure, to exam the implications of the pandemic for reform.