Utah's Sen. Mike Lee, Attorney General Sean Reyes on front lines of antitrust looks at Google, Facebook and others

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  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    June 18, 2019 7:46 a.m.

    This is a complete waste of time. There are so many more pressing issues then the platform you use for free to talk to people who think the same you you do. Take the argument that they are politically bias. The reality is the only bias you really see is the bias created by the friends you add and associate with. I don't see the extremes in Facebook because those that I associate with that are cronic political rhetoric spews, I block. I have control over what I see. These are "free" platforms that you don't need to use if you don't want to. "Free" in the sense these platforms sell your information.... but still.

    What we do need far more governance in Pharma and Big Medical. The level of corruption, back door deals, and "rebates" to doctors is way out of control. No one knows the real cost of anything medical. For a while I self insured my family.... and when the doctors office found out they dropped my bill by 50%. Makes no sense. We need a truth in cost of medical services bill that keeps this variable pricing out of the systems. No one "needs" facebook nor google. We all need medical treatment and there is far more issues with how that business is run.

  • Farmington Fan Farmington, UT
    June 13, 2019 2:01 p.m.

    I'd like to see Senator Lee go after Walmart, as well as the three companies named in the article.

    Walmart has the power--as the largest retailer in the U.S., and the largest customer of its suppliers--to put any of its suppliers out of business at anytime, and it has done just that on many occasions. Walmart probably gets better prices for the goods it buys from its suppliers than does the U.S. government. Almost all U.S. suppliers to Walmart usually provide products very close to cost, or sometimes below cost.

    My wife works for a company that supplies products to Walmart. Walmart requires her company to hire a clerical employee that works full-time on Walmart's account only. Walmart refuses to pay any invoices that are older than something like 90 days. And, at the end of the year, or even a year or two later, if Walmart looks at its books and decides that my wife's company made too much profit on its Walmart account, Walmart demands a rebate--sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Anti-trust laws were originally passed in the 1920's to reign in a large retailer. Now it looks like history has repeated itself, but no one has had the courage to go after Walmart.

  • Elkhorn Loveland, CO
    June 13, 2019 1:08 p.m.

    Very partial

    “How about working on Utah companies first? The fraudsters, scammers and robocall crooks. Maybe, after cleaning up their own backyard, then they can worry about other states.”

    They’re going after monopolies that are exercising world wide control of the internet and social media.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    June 13, 2019 12:08 p.m.

    @RiDal
    "And it cannot be ignored that none of this would have become an issue if they had simply adhered to constitutional free speech guidelines"

    "Constitutional free speech" does not apply to private corporations. Not even remotely.

    You have zero 'right' to use social media. You merely have a 'privilege' to use them. You have even less 'right' to be paid by social media.

    Regarding the anti-trust whining, there might be a point if the consumer had no alternatives to youtube, twitter, google, facebook, etc. But that's not remotely the case. There are literally dozens of alternatives out there.

  • EternalIyImpermanent Costa Rica, 00
    June 13, 2019 11:52 a.m.

    The concept of intellectual property (copyrights and patents) is relevant here.

    Get rid of intellectual property law -- which is a form of corporate welfare -- and you can get rid of antitrust law as well.

    "We are up against a world where innovation creates natural monopolies, aided and abetted by patents and copyrights."
    -John Bennett, contributor at Against Monopoly

  • All American Herriman, UT
    June 13, 2019 11:27 a.m.

    This whole antitrust/monopoly thing is ridiculous. Elizabeth Warren wants to split Google into 2 companies, a search engine and an advertising company. How does she think Google makes money? Google gives us the search engine for FREE. Would they do that, plus innovate new ideas if the revenue side of their business is taken away? And no government regulator is going to improve Google’s searches, or is qualified to even try.

    Does anyone want an iPhone if it doesn't come with & sell apps? (BTW, Samsung sells more phones & apps than Apple.)

    How many platforms do you want to visit to buy products like Amazon carries (few are actually owned by Amazon)? Yes, they bought a grocery chain. Monopoly right? Not even close, but that purchase has spurred the largest grocery chain (Kroger) to spend millions on innovation.

    These tech giants are constantly spending money innovating. Seen any innovation lately from yesteryear's giant, GE?

    The ONLY issues government should look at with these companies are violation of privacy and free speech - period.

  • China is Spying ,
    June 13, 2019 11:09 a.m.

    All of these companies have been penetrated by the Chinese Communists. They are not representative of America any more.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    June 13, 2019 10:46 a.m.

    @Shaun - Sandy, UT
    "It is just your point of view that you think social platforms are bias against conservatives. That doesn’t justify breaking these companies up."

    Consider this:
    The whole pretext for the "Russian collusion" investigation was that "foreign entities" were "influencing our opinions on Social media."

    Now all those companies accept foreign accounts. They are all "foreign actors" and they freely express opinions that "influence our elections". Yet American conservatives are not allowed to respond with the full protections of Constitutional Free Speech. By selectively blocking some forms of free speech, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter are effectively "Colluding with foreign entities to influence our elections."

    Why no concern? Do we even know if the censors at twitter are US citizens ? Twitter just hired a *British* firm to help block "fake news". How do we know they are not biased ? They are definitely "foreign".

    Do we only worry about these things after a Republican wins an election ?

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    June 13, 2019 10:35 a.m.

    @jskains
    "So Facebook is a platform that allows everyone to uniformly connect. If no one creates a compelling argument to leave the platform, we force people to leave? I don’t get the mindset here..."

    Granted that these are private companies; but they have grown large enough to be "virtual monopolies". In the case of Youtube and Instagram there is also the issue that there was an implied contract in monetizing the contributors. Some of these contributors have invested a lot of their own money in setup for creating content; then the platforms very arbitrarily ban them or at least deprive them of the monetization incentives.

    And it cannot be ignored that none of this would have become an issue if they had simply adhered to constitutional free speech guidelines and established legal precedents. It has been proven that they do not merely censor "hate speech" but use that merely a a pretext to ban anything they simply don't like, with no objective standard.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    June 13, 2019 10:34 a.m.

    To "radicalmoderate" actually according to the studies that were done on the Russian bots they found that it wasn't that the conservatives believed everything. They found that conservatives were just sharing positive information about Trump because the bots were sharing more positive things than the MSM was.

    The only intervention that needs to take place is for Facebook and YouTube to fully reinstate the accounts of people that have been demonetized despite complying with all of their rules.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    June 13, 2019 10:30 a.m.

    @ute alumni

    It is just your point of view that you think social platforms are bias against conservatives. That doesn’t justify breaking these companies up.

  • 🎼TruthIsMarching Boston, MA
    June 13, 2019 10:28 a.m.

    The last few years, Alex Jones has clearly been more accurate than the "trusted" media. There is no disputing that fact.

    So, when is Twitter going to suspend CNN, MSNBC, and Carlos Slim controlled New York Times?

  • radicalmoderate Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2019 10:08 a.m.

    I find it incredibly disturbing that an article about privacy concerns turned into a cheering section for conservative revenge against the "libs." The last thing we want is the government dictating the messages we send to each other. The reason that the Russians have found it so easy to poison the well, has more to do with "conservative" idiots re-posting their garbage than liberal bias.

    While I am sure liberals have done it as well, those of you cheering this government intervention into the public discourse should use caution here. The best way to avoid being manipulated is to discern the truth. Check facts before you share something that sounds too good to be true from your echo chamber and stop being a tool for those seeking to divide us with falsehoods.

  • 🦉Athena📜 ,
    June 13, 2019 9:31 a.m.

    We have laws on the books regarding platforms vs publishers, and abusing monopolies. The giants have violated both of them in censoring conservatives.

    We also have court decisions on public squares that the giants have been ignoring. Need to enforce those as well.

    They have been breaking the law, and they need to be held accountable.

  • Pepe the Frog 🐸 ,
    June 13, 2019 9:09 a.m.

    The social media monopolists have been abusing their power, and need to be broken up.

    If there are multiple facebooks, multiple youtubes, and multiple Twitters, they will be forced to open up the public square - which is their legal responsibility.

  • jskains Orem, UT
    June 13, 2019 6:22 a.m.

    So Facebook is a platform that allows everyone to uniformly connect. If no one creates a compelling argument to leave the platform, we force people to leave? I don’t get the mindset here...

  • Strachan Bountiful, UT
    June 13, 2019 12:44 a.m.

    Impartial,

    The Attorney General’s office is investigating both fraud and anti-competitive conduct. The investigations are not mutually exclusive.

  • WeThePeople Sandy, UT
    June 12, 2019 11:46 p.m.

    Good for Senator Lee! For so long, anti-trust was a tool of the liberal's, socialist, and regulator's, who wanted to punish capitalist's for their wealth and success! They wanted to destroy successful companie's, no matter how many jobs were lost.

    Now these same law's are used to restore righteous Balance to our news media. By going after Twitter, Lee is challenging the PC-patrol, and making it clear how great our Conservative Leaders are. Under the guidance of our Leader Donald Trump, Lee is going to own the Lib's!

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 12, 2019 8:23 p.m.

    How about working on Utah companies first? The fraudsters, scammers and robocall crooks. Maybe, after cleaning up their own backyard, then they can worry about other states.