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Google, Facebook, Amazon And The Future Of Antitrust Laws

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U.S. antitrust law dates back to 1890, but it's been largely out of the spotlight for twenty years. Now, with antitrust concerns swirling around Big Tech companies and major telecommunications mergers, it's back. Watch this video to find out how US antitrust law evolved and what it means for America's biggest businesses. *** Correction *** This video incorrectly states John Newman's title and school. He's an associate professor of law at the University of Miami. » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: https://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC Google, Facebook, Amazon And The Future Of Antitrust Laws
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Text Comments (525)
GABRIEL CRAFT (15 hours ago)
Seriously we need WARREN OR SANDERS
ThnkIaA (3 days ago)
It’s not too big you morons. It’s anticompetitive. Boeing is too big
Craig Reel (4 days ago)
It was not called AT&T it was called BellSouth
Ian Rhoten (10 days ago)
Adobe buys up competitive programs and destroys them, and Disney is trying to consume just about everything they can
Red Bull (11 days ago)
Evil hidden good ones that their intentions and schemes will be revealed
William Miller (11 days ago)
Facebook is the biggest violator. My hope is they really hit Darth Vader (otherwise known as Mark Zuckerberg) really hard! Facebook has broken more laws and violated more people's rights than any tech company out there! They are trying to dominate everything now, including money, with their introduction of Libra.
Vinyas Bhat (11 days ago)
its not going to wrk now... companies control government now a days..😌
Gerardo Rivera (13 days ago)
The reason Amazon doesn't make any profits on retail is because they are engaged in predatory pricing. They subsidize retail with their cloud business. We are enjoying the low prices until they finish every considerable competition in every market they are targeting. Then, I don't have to tell you what's going to happen.
Montag theMagnificent (14 days ago)
When you've got Mike Huckabee and Bernie Sanders in agreement on something, then there's something there
Karthikeyan Jayachandran (14 days ago)
Imagine if Starbucks being only place to buy coffee? Is this everyone wanted? No diversity?
Lynn Hua (14 days ago)
Big tech... but what about big pharma?
ritaperdue (16 days ago)
Amazon needs to be broken up for sure!
Yuan Tronz (17 days ago)
Rothschild, Schiff, Lehman, Goldman Sachs...
MrManifolder (19 days ago)
Unregulated competition always inevitably leads to a small handful of dominant firms (or single dominant firm) who will seek to structurally cement their dominant position. Unless we reform our governments into systems which can effectively regulate markets and enforce competition, then the long-term stability of capitalism is doubtful. We either fix it or say goodbye.
MrManifolder (19 days ago)
Q: How does anti-trust work? A: *It doesn't!*
Alban Bejko (19 days ago)
It's time to wake up America 🇺🇲🇺🇲
M. H. (20 days ago)
I hope they break it all up
MissBunny850 (21 days ago)
I think this video had about 2 minutes of information in it
Mephisto (21 days ago)
This video is pretty stupid. It falsely characterizes the switch in antitrust enforcement philosophy as barely submerged political ideology. But this isn't true. The reality is that, contrary to this highfalutin rhetoric about "democracy" and other such things, antitrust enforcement was always primarily driven by economic considerations. In this sense, the victory of the Chicago School was an intellectual victory, and many of the experts quoted in this video would probably agree that, as an intellectual matter, the consumer welfare standard ought still to be the lodestar of antitrust regulators (I know that this is generally Daniel Crane's view, anyway).
Nihilist (22 days ago)
What about antitrust against media conglomerates?
Mike Chen (24 days ago)
Antitrust definitely worked in the past, but it isn't going to be a solution for the 21st century. Breaking Facebook into 2 Facebooks just means 1 will become the new Facebook. Most people won't even use Bing or Yahoo to look up things today. We refer looking up things online "Google it", not "Bing it" or "Yahoo it".
Kyle Spence (24 days ago)
Disney is too big. There's even a meme about the mouse taking over America.
Valens (25 days ago)
zok310 (26 days ago)
lol, 13 companies rule over 300 million Americans. Add in about 4 automakers and its 17 companies that we have to interact with at some point as an adult.
Nhan Bui (26 days ago)
Mergers are neither bad nor good. It depends on the reasons for the merger. On the positive note, sometimes mergers happen because company a and b have technologies or services that compliment each other to make a better product. On the negative side, larger companies , say company a, can take advantage of mergers to stifle competition if they find out that company b who has a similar but better product is a threat to their obsolete product.
ray Williams (26 days ago)
Usually the latter is the case because protecting a strategic interest by going on the Offensive is vastly simpler than having to develop better products. Corporations are ludicrously conservative, anti-competative, anti-democrstic, and allergic to innovation (literally technical progress).
argentaamore (26 days ago)
What's being done on anti trust against Google, amazon, Microsoft, etc?? Nothing!!! Why?
Tournel Henry (26 days ago)
Well, you guys can start by posting your videos on Vimeo and Dailymotion too
Chaython Meredith (28 days ago)
Jeff bezos ships a lot of drugs
habibbi alikafe (28 days ago)
I'm no expert but this may not say the whole story. For example, Bayer recently merged with Monsanto but to do so they had to invest more in r & d and show they had innovative projects underway and sell billions of dollars of assets to competitors. So while there may be consolidation, they are, by the courts decision, doing so in a way that justifies antitrust laws to be ignored
Antoine (29 days ago)
monopolies are impossible.
Preoximerias (25 days ago)
Man, the more I look at it, many of our current day problems stem from around the time of Reagan being President.
Vapor Trails (29 days ago)
Preoximerias Because that's what the Democrats want you to think, and everyone in the legacy media is a Democrat. In reality, they hate him because he defeated communism. And because he was the most popular and successful president of the last 60 years.
Adam Feltes (30 days ago)
How Antitrust laws work: they don't. get money out of politics.
Mr. Haha 89 (30 days ago)
It’s starting to feel like modern government began with the Reagan Administration.
sportlol (30 days ago)
This video finally addresses the n#1 problem of our Western society and of capitalism. Neoliberalism only creates oligopolies so huge that they steal our freedom and all possibilty of progress, as they keep destroying the Earth, in other terms, our future. This needs to stop right now.
Admiral Moses (30 days ago)
Blame democracy and a largely apathetic and ignorant voter base. We've been spoon fed this information for years now in one way shape or another but ppl would rather enjoy convenience than competition.
Thanatad Ruengsuksilp (30 days ago)
People talk about Big Tech monopolies/duopolies/other oligopolies all the time... But not enough people talk about the biggest duopoly of them all- the US Republican and US Democrats
Coco Jumbo (7 days ago)
@Montag theMagnificent wouldnt make any difference even if there is 5 parties, every party will end up being bought out by big businesses, special interests, lobbies, Jews etc Anyway, 2 party system satisfy bare minimum for calling it a democracy, make sheep think there is choice and their votes can make a difference LMAO😂😂😂
Montag theMagnificent (14 days ago)
You're really talking about the same thing. These uber rich corporations buy their politicians on both sided. We get to choose their puppet, thus giving us the appearance of a choice
Tournel Henry (26 days ago)
Those are not businesses 😂. So, doesn't apply. Also, the American government system makes it a 2 party system. You have to change the law to have more parties I guess 😔😣
David barnes stuff 2 (30 days ago)
They won when they figured out how to get voters to vote against their own best interest. They basically figured out how to get poor people to blame other poor people for the problems that poor people have such as low wages.
A_flying_dutchman [NL] (1 month ago)
You have a clear law that illegalizes monopolies, ENFORCE THEM ALREADY.
Comrade of the Balance (1 month ago)
A_flying_dutchman [NL] I don’t see any monopolies. Only monopolistic competition
Positive Investing (1 month ago)
With all these fears, it’s the perfect time to load up on shares in companies like FB!
Ariel Kapell (1 month ago)
somethingsomethingsomething (1 month ago)
anti-trust doesnt work in an era of globalization. cina isn't going to break up the biggest banks, the biggest tech, the biggest infrastructure companies - and then those can just buy the broken up pieces of the US behemoths because they cant compete or fend off the takeovers. Anti-trust is great but only in a vacuum
Hindu Goat (1 month ago)
bring back anti-trust... except those big monopoly companies like google pay for the politicians election campaigns allowing big anonymous donations to political parties and campaigns is what corrupts the system
Dave Black (1 month ago)
Yeah! We wouldn't want to end up with a Brawndo situation!
Y T (1 month ago)
AntiTrust worked because they were in control of one product/services. Amazon is actually competing with multiple different companies, and targeting Amazon will only hurt consumers. Whole Foods price will go up, shipping cost will go up, cost of starting business will go up.
Y T (17 days ago)
B May How are Amazon prices artificially low? What are they? A lot of merchandise on amazon actually cost more than big box retailers like Walmart and target. Whole Foods was more expensive before amazon bought them, and still higher than other grocery stores/Costco.
B May (30 days ago)
Along with what the other person said here, I'll add that the prices charged by Amazon are artificially low, so yes, everything there should cost more. Aside from AWS being Amazon's money maker (therefore they can lose money on their other businesses), they also treat their employees very poorly and they extort communities into letting them pay much lower taxes. Meaning that every dollar you save at Amazon is a dollar stolen from their employees and the public. Things absolutely should cost more than they do, because those extra-low prices are fake, propped up by awful business practices and externalities. It sickens me to know that most people care only about low prices, not the reasons for those prices, which are always on the backs of poorer people.
Will Bryant (30 days ago)
Lets look at grocery stores. Amazon is undercutting its competitors by borrowing money from the AWS section of the business. Its not undercutting competitors because of better efficiency in its supply chain, or higher quality customer service. Its akin to two football teams going against eachother, but side A has two extra baseball players running around and beating up a few of side B's players.
Gerson (1 month ago)
"in the early 1990s, the auto industry created the US Auto Battery Consortium (USABC) to stifle the development of electric vehicle technology" - copped a patent and limited the techs use ... so much for large companies having an interest in innovation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_encumbrance_of_large_automotive_NiMH_batteries
Journeyman (1 month ago)
I make money from Google! BTW over the years I have been forced to purchase software from Microsoft many, many times? Never made any money from Microsoft? THEY NEED TO GO AFTER MICROSOFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Steve Levario (1 month ago)
corporations and lobbying are destroying America
Scrub nig (1 month ago)
You know what's going to destroy America? People that want to destroy the US economy and future by breaking up us big tech
Big Josh (1 month ago)
FAMGA is great
tcbobb16 (1 month ago)
can someone explained to me if a major tech company like say Amazon gets break up, how would the USA government or the FTC pick the executives of the new company? let's say AWS Amazon Web Services gets taken away from amazon. let's say forever reason AWS fails and needs to sell then what would happen. I can just see amazon being banned from buying back parts. it would just be Microsoft, google, facebook. trying to buy AWS.
Colma B (1 month ago)
I would rather Google have a complete monopoly on all Media for the next 100 years than for Comcast to exist another day.
Jonni (1 month ago)
had to throw in capitalist propaganda at the 6 minute mark didnt you
Miguel Pereira (1 month ago)
We should keep an eye on Disney. 40% of market share on movie production is ridiculous
retnavybrat (1 month ago)
But Disney doesn't produce anything we have to _have,_ as opposed to things we simply want. As long as it isn't trying to keep other companies from making and/or distributing their films, its high market share isn't really hurting anyone. Consumers always have a choice as to whether or not to see Disney produced movies. Does my opinion meet the letter of US anti-trust law? Probably not, since the law probably doesn't differentiate between companies that produce necessary goods and services and those that don't. However, if I was the FTC / DoJ and had to prioritize what monopolies to go after, a movie studio would be way down the list compared to something like a pharmaceutical manufacturer.
Mark N. (1 month ago)
He must be a very popular professor.
snowflake melter (1 month ago)
THE TROLL, THE BAAHHHDDD , AND YOU'RE UGLY !! 🤠 , 🐏 , 'n 🐏'r , 👹
snowflake melter (1 month ago)
Vaudree Lavallee (1 month ago)
The data-opolies need to be regulated.
anuz timsina (1 month ago)
What about America dominating other countries?
DlPhia L (1 month ago)
Didn’t really explain anything. Waste of time
Diego Romero (1 month ago)
Andrew Yang said something like, “A Humane Capitalism is the spectrum we are referring to today, a UBI should be in our lifetime given how long we’ve turned a blind eye to tech innovation removing a need for humans.”
Jabid21 (1 month ago)
Love how daddy Comcast and other cable companies are left out.
MAGICIAN (30 days ago)
This whole piece is funny because Comcast owns CNBC and comcast has a monopoly
No Name (1 month ago)
Pedro Zurita (1 month ago)
"The Government" should really stop worrying about "protecting the people" and start worrying about the companies that operate on a global scale large enough to contest their sovereign status. Companies now exist with enough social power to sway the ideology of their users and whose mindset is not always in sync with the goverment that "controls" them. Antitrust has a new meaning in this context.
patrick brown (1 month ago)
We still have not drained the swamp - controlled by the " Few"! Opps no spell check sorry about that!
Micheal O Flaherty (1 month ago)
The Boeing-Airbus duopoly is a case in point. Boeing released a flawed aircraft, the 737 max 8, but will survive because Airbus is at capacity and can't take much more market share. Boeing also could afford to squeeze more out of an old design instead of innovating with a new one.
Darryl Cheese (1 month ago)
I think anti trust laws should take effect when any business gets too big and powerful (Google, Amazon) that no other companies can form and complete.
habibbi alikafe (28 days ago)
Baidu and Lumia and taobao compete ig in a way
Black cat photography (1 month ago)
Ahhhh finally à big media says it. And if also the médias start telling the true they would killed slowly the fake news
Black cat photography (1 month ago)
You can't be that big without dirty tricks. And I agree they are way to big and annoying. You can't avoid them. They abuse people's data. Look at Facebook I think it's quite clear.
njack1994 (1 month ago)
Can we also include any company that has accumulated so many brands that they essentially create a false sense of fair and honest competition. Coffee and chocolate industry is also a problem. I mean nestle basically owns the ivory coast. If we are being honest though, capitalism will not create a responsible and moral society if it is opportunistic to live beyond what is sustainable.We are told that if we have enough money will can consume what we please and clearly and evidently that has not been nice to the planet.
RareSox (1 month ago)
Antitrust: *exists* Disney: I'ma gonna end this man's career
HomeFriez007 (1 month ago)
ISPs definitely need to get looked at.
Adam Jagger (1 month ago)
Idk about the other industries but more airline competition probably won’t do much as fares are really low and profits while high are only about 10%. That’s not that much
Johnny Schmegma (1 month ago)
In some markets there is global competition, like with smartphones or software or jumbo jets. Maybe our companies have to be large to compete globally
Лев Бонифаций (1 month ago)
Sue Chinese monopolies first.
Trevor Doge (1 month ago)
Anti trust doesn't even work. Rockefeller just created a bunch of subsidiaries and continued his monopoly under several names. The reason the Nazis came into power was due to a bunch of crazed socialists (National Socialist = Nazi). This was a great attempt at getting people to vote left of centre though 👍 better luck next time
Comrade of the Balance (1 month ago)
Trevor Doge The Nazis were no socialists. The Nazis heavily regulated industries but they never owned an entire industry which is not how socialism works. You need more research.
jbarkley4938653 (1 month ago)
These laws does not apply to the most powerful companies. 😤
Tom Buttons (1 month ago)
Why is beer mentioned here? That's an international product and there's loads of foreign competitors at decent prices.
omar ibarra (1 month ago)
There are only like 3 beer companies world wide, brands are just illusions!
sadman sakib (1 month ago)
Break up big Pharma
miiiikku (1 month ago)
Why not merge all companies into monopolies and merge them with state too. Thats a real capitalist dream.
Go MGTOW (1 month ago)
An antitrust lawsuit / breakup should automatically apply when any 'one' company exceeds 50% of the overall market. It should never pass 50% domination.
Scrub nig (1 month ago)
Lol that's the definition of anti innovation and anti capitalism. Either you're a socialist or a paid trolls
RaveN._.EDM (1 month ago)
Wouldn’t that just decrease innovation. There’s plenty of smartphones in the US but iPhones have over 50% market share...Apple isn’t a monopoly, it’s just a highly desired product.
Dan San (1 month ago)
Democracy antitrust law number one: buy bitcoin
Jex Fre (1 month ago)
That is why in the far future the only restaurant left will be Taco Bell.
Roberto De Leon (25 days ago)
Jex Fre 😂😂😂
Dave102693 (30 days ago)
Nah. MickeyDs
BloomSTRAD (30 days ago)
Reference understood. 🤣
Feras Angel (1 month ago)
disnay already is eating all the entertainment industry
JUMP23MΔN (1 month ago)
Charles Quinn (1 month ago)
Antitrust action has been mostly dormant in recent years until just now? Lol CNBC is falling apart at the hands of know-nothing millenial interns
Syafiq Nizar (1 month ago)
No mention of Microsoft? Bill Gates : really?
Jacob Dumas (1 month ago)
jo mo mo software is the big deal with Windows being almost a necessary part of any companies computers along with the Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc)
jo mo mo (1 month ago)
Syafiq Nizar wtf does Microsoft have a monopoly of outside of PCs?
Boots (1 month ago)
anti trust doesn't cater to consumers, it artificially lets less-efficient companies capture more of the market.
Boots (1 month ago)
​@Miguel Pereira That makes zero sense, if a smaller company can provide better products then it's not a monopoly. A monopoly is when 1 company has so much of the market share that it is IMPOSSIBLE for any other company to compete with them, there are thousands of shipping and shopping websites which is proof that it is very possible to compete with amazon. They are nothing close to a monopoly. Monopolies have nothing to do with the size of the company, but rather their ability to capture a huge majority of the market share and not allow competition.
Miguel Pereira (1 month ago)
Monopolies are very bad for the consumer. Often times smaller companies provide better services and products but the bigger companies drives them into the ground or buys them up
Mr Peco (1 month ago)
u.s. isn't into manufacturing, they buy everything from china and asia if a company was losing money because of the consequences of anti-trust, or could gain money they would be using those laws more the laws are there, but the loss of money or the potential gain in using those laws isn't there so no one cares
Squizree (1 month ago)
"Barak Orbach"? lol
Squizree (1 month ago)
The irony is that Antitrust laws ARE capitalistic. They promote competition, innovation and a diverse economy.
ray Williams (26 days ago)
The irony being that Only Socialism can protect lesseiz-faire capitalism. The "invisible hand" should be amenable to the democratic process and if buying, selling, and trading stocks was as cheap as buying and selling regular products, then we wouldn't have to worry about "over/undervaluation" outside of marketing plays like the Old Spice Guy or whatever.
Denver Donate (1 month ago)
They will keep doing whatever they want. I mean, they have been recording everyone secretly in their homes and won't be held accountable for that so why would anything change?
Brandon Lee Sanders (1 month ago)
Google and other large tech companies need to be regulated for censorship
noname22541 (1 month ago)
Really they just thought about that!!!
yo lo (1 month ago)
What bout antitrust laws on healthcare
Edward (1 month ago)
hahah the 4 horse riders (Amazon, Facebook, Google and Oil) damn the bible was very metaphoric ha and the devil himself DISNEY
Devon Rusinek (1 month ago)
Diego Braga (1 month ago)
Too much for free-market huh!?
The asiatic Lion (1 month ago)
John Newman is hot he can be my professor
KR!RK (1 month ago)
Plot more graphs to show relation between number of companies/market concentration and wealth gap/distribution then maybe more people care about Antitrust laws.
Noneya Business (1 month ago)
Don't forget about the investigations into uber/lyft. Predatory pricing, price fixing, and dumping. All are major antitrust violations
Avneesh Singh Tomar (1 month ago)
All joining hands together for just one purpose.... LOOT PEOPLE.
Abdiel Neris (1 month ago)
There can't be healthy competition if Amazon is buying out every small company.