The fact that Facebook, Google, and Amazon didn’t even exist 25 years ago tells us the exact opposite. It highlights how quickly innovative ideas can transform the marketplace in an era of relative deregulation. I’d tell you to ask the executives at Woolworth’s or Blockbuster—and soon AOL, MySpace, and Sears—but there aren’t any.
Apple or Amazon were early adapters of the market’s new realities. Now, some of their businesses are forced to compete with other giants like Walmart or Samsung. This has been beneficial for consumers. Now, if Twitter and Facebook want to stay on top, they probably should stop antagonizing half of their marketplace. Then again, in 25 years, it’s quite likely that a bunch of new platforms will overtake both, no matter what they do.
That hasn’t stopped Warren from acting as if tech companies like Google are the new Standard Oil. “I want a government that makes sure everybody—even the biggest and most powerful companies in America—plays by the rules,” Warren claims. This misleading turn of phrase has become standard on the left, which often acts as if companies are breaking the law or using “loopholes” when they fail to adhere to the imaginary regulations. Tech companies aren’t breaking any rules by ignoring Warren’s fictitious strictures. We already have a place to adjudicate the usefulness of mergers, and it’s called the Justice Department.