1/12 (Tue.) Antitrust Laws on Big Tech (Host: Lewis/Iris)

Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 756
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

1/12 (Tue.) Antitrust Laws on Big Tech (Host: Lewis/Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

Due to the New Year holidays, the Tuesday (1/12/21) meeting will reuse the topics from 1/2/21 meeting as planned earlier in our Host Leader group.
It turns out to be a great arrangement because the 1/2/21 meeting in Kaohsiung was a special class, conducted by our elite member, Lewis, a law professor at Nation Sun Yat-Sen University. The topic, antitrust law, is very much worth promoting at a regular YoYo meeting for a larger group.

How do the antitrust policymakers move the crosshairs through Big Tech’s action window?
• The five big tech firms, FAAMG, account for about 25% of the value of S&P 500 Index. The pandemic in 2020 has amplified tech giant’s role in the modern society as we further depend on their services in communication, shopping, education and entertainment,
• Some fundamental questions to address:
- Is the rise of Big Tech driven by the market or other factors?
- Has the rise facilitated the anti-competition and hindered the innovation?
- Are the interests of consumers being compromised?
• Network effects: The value of a product is dependent on the size of the userbase.
- In tech sector, the network effects do not guarantee the forever dominance.
- And so, “Big” is not necessary a “sin”.
• Then, what other issues to be concerned?
- Big Tech’s acquisition spree starting to hinder innovation.
- “Data is the primary currency”: How to ensure the appropriate data collection operation?
- Patent hoarding by the dominant firms is widening the gap between leaders and laggards.
- Big Tech firms are usually platform providers and game participants as well. It sets rules of the platform, which can potentially create a less competitive landscape.

At our 1/12/21 meeting, we will also revisit the real-world antitrust rulings against two tech giants, Apple and Facebook. We won’t be able to have the law professor to conduct the Socratic method of Q&A, but we should have more time to understand the background and exchange our thoughts in the group discussion or debates.

The two cases to be explored are:
• Apple and Epic Game fight over Fortnite bans from App Stores
• Facebook loses antitrust case in Germany over data collection

The discussion can be focused on:
• What caused the conflicts?
• What are the arguments on both sides?
• Why is Data the most valuable commodity now?
• What is the spirit of antitrust law, to protect competitors or to protect competition? How?
• Is the antitrust law sufficient for the new tech world?
Between the issues of market concentration/industry dominance and the goals of economic efficiency and consumer welfare, how do antitrust regulators weigh correctly and move their crosshairs precisely on Big Tech’s actions?

Reference Materials: ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Optional Reading:
Session I Questions:
1. Why did Epic Games sue Apple over Fortnite? What was the judge’s ruling?

2. Do you think the ruling is fair? If you were the judge, would your verdict be the same? Why or why not?

3. In this case, what spirit of antitrust law was followed or not followed in your opinion?

Session II Questions:
1. Why was Facebook sued in German court? What was the result of the lawsuit?

2. Do you think Facebook combining the personal data in FB, WhatsApp, and Instagram to provide more integrated services to their users is not a good business practice? Why?

3. Do you think antitrust law protects the new tech world fairly or limits the innovative players? Why and how should it be improved?

6:45 ~ 7:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
7:00 ~ 7:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
7:10 ~ 7:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
7:50 ~ 8:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
8:10 ~ 8:15pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
8:15 ~ 8:55pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
9:00 ~ 9:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
9:20 ~ 9:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements

Meeting Date: As shown on the Subject Line
Meeting Time: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Meeting Venue: 丹堤咖啡 Dante Coffee (Minimum Order $80)
Address: 台北市濟南路三段25號[MAP]-捷運忠孝新生站3號出口步行3分鐘

Important Notes:
1. We advise participants to print out the discussion questions and bring them to the meeting for reference. As for the supporting articles, feel free to print them out, as well, according to your preference.
2. We suggest that participants read the articles and think about the questions in advance.
3. Newcomers should prepare a two-to-three minute self-introduction in English to deliver when called upon by the host before the start of the discussion. The host may also ask you to give brief feedback about the meeting at the conclusion of the meeting.
4. We conduct the entire meeting in English. All participants should have at least moderate English-conversation skills and be able to articulate your ideas for each discussion question.
5. We welcome newcomers and other guests to attend the meetings and join the discussion freely for three times. After that, we hope you will consider becoming a YoYo English Club member. We charge a NT$1000 lifetime membership fee.
Luis Ko
YOYO member
文章: 942
註冊時間: 週三 6月 06, 2007 10:18 pm

Re: 1/12 (Tue.) Antitrust Law on Big Tech (Host: Lewis/Iris)

文章 Luis Ko »

No doubt this is a topic worth discussing. It's a very good topic, if not great. :D
i might be a cynic and, a sceptic as well but, i'm definitely not a bad person!!
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 756
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 1/12 (Tue.) Antitrust Law on Big Tech (Host: Lewis/Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

Luis Ko 寫:
週三 1月 06, 2021 1:16 pm
No doubt this is a topic worth discussing. It's a very good topic, if not great. :D
Thanks, Luis!
It's not easy to get on your "good topic" list! I am sure Lewis is very happy about that! :)

I found another video briefing the antitrust practice in modern US history, which is short and well-organized:

Antitrust Law is actually complicated and not easy to define, and is usually full of controversial arguments. This practice has had its ups and downs in modern history. As said in the video, it had been dormant since 1970's, Reagan's era, until recently it was invigorated again because of the Big Tech's pervasive influence.

Hope we have a good discussion in the meeting!
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 756
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 1/12 (Tue.) Antitrust Laws on Big Tech (Host: Lewis/Iris)

文章 Iris Wu »

Why is data a new commodity?
Customer data can be aggregated and enables the higher levels of analysis:
  • Level one – What happened?
    Level two – Why did it happen?
    Level three – What’s going to happen?
    Level four – How can I make it happen?
Once it gets to the level four, the data will be really powerful. Some said it’s the most valuable commodity.

Thank you for attending the discussion:
Attendees: Morris, Miller, Tashi, Amy, Luis, Jacy, Kat, Ramesh, Jessica, Jerry, Shirley, David Jr., Steve, Douglas, Sherry, Eric, Julian, Jason, Iris (Host)