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The EU vs Silicon Valley
Europe’s Innovation Problem
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  • David Nelson Black

    “The information economy is as different from what came before as the Industrial Revolution was from the agricultural economy before it; laws will have to change now as they did to deal with railroad and steel conglomerates then, and the new tech giants may well need restraint in some areas.”

    There is some irony here. The ‘information economy’ is kind of a sad substitute for the ‘real things’ economy. This is like telling people that The Matrix is just fine, and we will get used to it. To claim that those who are building it ‘need some restraint’ is beyond folly. The more that our reality is mediated by companies like Google the less it is reality.

    What would you have France do? They’re still alive over there, with real lives they enjoy, and they’re going to protect that; it’s hard to lament on their behalf the loss of the Minitel! They still have a by-and-large better quality of life, it seems, probably especially without the “chunky machine popular for cyber sex and accounts” (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/jun/28/minitel-france-says-farewell). I think its particularly arguable whether the internet — let alone the fact of controlling the companies that produce the most content for it, and police it, etc — has made Americans particularly happier or better off.

    If you’re arguing that countries like France and Germany should worry about Google, that’s something else. But rolling over and taking total-factor-Google-absorption is not a particularly compelling prescription.

    “But trying to run innovation by bureaucratic fiat risks leaving Europe in the same place France has been before—watching the British run away with the telegraph after the French had gotten out to an early lead during the Napoleonic wars, or watching the Internet crush Minitel. Each time, the country that used its legal system to encourage, rather than restrain, innovation and disruption came out ahead.”

    If where we are in New York is “out ahead” then why is it America’s unhappiest city? http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/New-York-City-Unhappiest-City-America-Study-268228332.html And, might I add, right up there with London in Europe!

    • Andrew Allison

      As noted, this has nothing to do with France or Germany, it’s a mistaken attempt at relevancy by the European Commission.

  • Andrew Allison

    TAI (and the EU) make a fundamental mistake in conflating Microsoft’s bundling of IE with Windows and Google’s dominance of the search market, which is open. The antitrust attacks on Microsoft’s efforts to shut out other browsers resulted in an open market in which IE is, rightfully, a distant third. The reason that the EU attack on Google will, one hopes, fail is that Google does not shut out hits.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    It’s a joke to have the Government Monopoly investigating the competitiveness of the market place, what do they know about competition?. The fact is that these bureaucrats are being paid and used by Google’s competitors too reduce Google’s competitiveness which is driving them out of business. It is the “Feedback of Competition” that forces continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price in a free markets. It is the Government Monopoly’s blocking of this system that is the reason for Europe’s constipation of innovation.

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