Geoffrey Manne quoted in the New York Times on the shifting attitudes toward big tech

ICLE President & Founder Geoffrey Manne was interviewed by the NYT on the shifting attitudes toward big tech platforms, following a blog post that he and ICLE Research Fellow Alec Stapp recently published responding to Elizabeth Warren’s call to break up big tech companies:

“Something has definitely changed,” said Geoffrey A. Manne, the founder of the International Center for Law and Economics, a think tank in Portland, Ore. “Most voters are very fond of Amazon, Apple, Google and even Facebook. But I think there’s also a growing sense of skepticism about all these companies. The shine has come off.”

Mr. Manne, who has been a critic of the antitrust arguments against Google and has received funding from the search giant as well as from some of its competitors, including Comcast and AT&T, eviscerated Ms. Warren’s proposal with his colleague Alec Stapp in a recent blog post. They wrote that the senator’s plan to turn the top companies into heavily regulated “platform utilities” would make them as resistant to improvement as sewer systems or Amtrak.

And yet, Mr. Manne conceded in an interview, increased regulation is an idea whose time may have come.

“There is a long history in America — just not a recent one — of using the power of the state to counteract the economic power of private enterprise,” he said. “We may be at that moment again.”

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