July 30, 2020 at 5:00 am ET
“Let’s Zoom!” Imagine a work colleague’s awkward response if you enthusiastically
How is this wild success possible? We’ve repeatedly been told that “competition is dead” and that the big tech platforms will crush new innovators. Sen. Elizabeth Warren asserts that “to promote competition, and to ensure the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies.” Sen. Josh Hawley, her GOP colleague, similarly believes
However, amid the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 virus, the online
This reality struck me personally after my first full week working from home in March. In that week alone, I used Zoom, Twitch, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Gmail, SnapChat, Discord, Quip, Airtable, Facebook, Skype, Slack, Signal, LinkedIn, Nuzzel, YouTube, Medium, WordPress, and of course, Twitter. These platforms all offer different
The rise of Zoom shows that competition is thriving in the tech sector. For all the criticisms of the company, it has become a household name because it gives 200 million people a day an easy-to-use platform to keep connected. Mandatory remote work meant that, virtually overnight, companies, small-business owners and ordinary people were forced to find ways to continue face-to-face communication without in-person contact. When the market suddenly experienced a greater demand, Zoom was perfectly positioned to meet the needs of consumers.
But it turns out Zoom has tons of compet
Competitive incentives are strong throughout the tech sector, including in social media. If social media companies had a permanent hold on the marketplace, we’d all probably still be adjusting our MySpace page backgrounds. In reality, users can easily try new social media platforms and shift their attention to the most interesting ones. Just consider the social media app TikTok. Despite large social media incumbents, TikTok becam
We should ignore the “lack of competition” rhetoric from pundits and politicians who either aren’t paying attention or are intentionally ignoring the compelling evidence of innovation and competition in America’s tech sector. The Federal Trade Commission (where I served as chief technologist) can stop anti-competitive practices where evidence
Neil Chilson is the former acting chief technologist at the FTC and is currently a senior tech policy fellow at the Charles Koch Institute and Stand Together.
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