Masters of Control

Monopoly Chic in Silicon Valley

monopoly new-DISTORTED
Tech giants play monopoly in Silicon Valley.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Self-styled supermen of the Internet age pose serious threats to society through their belief that competition is bad.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Silicon Valley tycoons argue that competition means “profits for no one.”
    • The basic facts of monopolies are that they make companies inflexible and drive up prices.
    • The European Union must establish a domestic market that allows bigger player to give American hegemons a run for their money.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Up until now, economic theory held that competition was good and monopolies bad. Market economics says: Compete for ideas and products that will attract customers. That is the system’s mantra. That’s how we learned it in schools and universities.

This formula brought prosperity to the West and helped capitalism win over communism. In recent speeches about the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago, the legacies of Walter Eucken, Alfred Müller-Armack, Wilhelm Röpke and Ludwig Erhard were celebrated like banners promising happiness on earth.

But of all places it’s in the model country of a competition economy, the United States – where apparently any gifted or hard-working person can make it to the top – that another theory propagated of late suggests the opposite. According to the theory, only monopolies are productive enough to accomplish future missions, and competition is an “annoyance” and nothing more than an “ideology” that pervades the whole society.

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