Regulating Big Tech

America’s biggest companies are becoming bigger. From Disney’s bid for 20th Century Fox to AT&T and Time Warner, many of stalwart corporations are merging to stave off challenges from the Silicon Valley giants. But this is creating antitrust and competition problems, which Rana Foroohar discusses in her latest column.

This might be an opportunity to reconsider antitrust legislation. Rana says Big Tech may need to be regulated in a similar way to the big banks. The tech firms argue that such an approach would make mergers a political issue. But she thinks that in an era of large corporate profits and declining trust in liberal democracy, there is no better time to reexamine what defines a monopoly.

Wolfgang Münchau argues why the German car industry should fear a ‘no deal’ Brexit given Europe’s burgeoning trade war with the US.

Andrew Adonis, the former transport secretary, says Labour MPs should vote for a third runway at Heathrow airport.

Nick Butler writes that issues beyond Opec will drive oil prices — not least the increase in shale gas production.

What you’ve been saying

Brexit’s true believers will not be swayed — Letter from Philip Whitchelo
Further to your June 20 editorial “Meaningful vote is key to stopping ‘no deal’ Brexit” (June 20): The problem with all rational analysis of the Brexit journey is that Brexit defies rationality. It is a religion, not a policy. True believers will not be swayed by any argument, whatever the economic, social or political consequences. We are living in the modern equivalent of the religious wars of the Middle Ages. God help us.

Comment by Bluesky21 on Vertical media mergers are just so 19th century
Vertical integration is not “old-fashioned thinking”, but is a logical step taken even by many of the FAANG companies. Netflix has been aggressively moving from streaming into original content production; Apple’s retail stores have been a key part of its success; Amazon has been experimenting with making its private label goods (batteries, clothing, even baby food); Google has the Android mobile platform and has repeatedly experimented with its own devices, not to mention driverless cars.

Perfect example of moral failure according to Kant — Letter from Owen Kelly
Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, is quoted in your report “Trump promises to end forced separation of families” (June 21) as saying that it is a ‘moral imperative’ to stop separating families. As he and many others will know, the concept of a moral imperative, that brooks no cavilling, is central to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. That concept is, in turn, derived partly from Kant’s belief that each individual should be respected as an end in his or herself, and never treated as a means to some further end.

Today’s opinion

Harry Kane leads Panama demolition job to put England into last 16
Captain’s World Cup hat-trick in 6-1 thrashing confirms arrival of an in-form team

After the opening trade salvos, the big guns are readying
Protectionist measures are negligible so far but markets are now focusing on escalation

Issues beyond Opec will drive oil prices in coming years
US shale oil production is set to have a dramatic effect on the global market

Why German industry should fear a no-deal Brexit
The outlook for carmakers has worsened dramatically since the UK’s EU referendum

Antitrust policy is ripe for a rethink
We should consider regulating Big Tech like we do the banks

FT View

FT View: Greece wins a fresh chance to go it alone
An end to the bailout programme brings a painful chapter to a close

FT View: US tariffs pose a danger to the global economy
Innovation and productivity will be casualties from a trade war

The Big Read

The Big Read: Theresa May’s Brexit plan: hiding in plain sight
Prime minister pushes for an agreement that looks like a single market for goods but not services

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