October 25, 2020

NO, YOU CAN'T HAVE THE FREE STUFF YOU WANT?:

DOJ's Discovery Of Google's 'Monopoly' Confirms The Lawsuit's Superfluous Nature (John Tamny, 10/25/20, Forbes)

Precisely because there's so much upside for a successful technology investment, hundreds of billions are flowing into tomorrow's dominant companies. Which ones will shine? If any of us knew, the path to billionaire status would be simple.

Except that it's not. And it's not because while the commercial creators of the future will be worth trillions, their eventual valuations make it impossible to know now which ones will eventually attain rarefied air.

To understand this better, consider the technology outlook in 2000, back when AOL and Yahoo were at the top of the internet heap. At the same time Amazon AMZN +0.9% was a "non-profit" peddling books, CDs and DVDs, Microsoft was still bloodied after the Clinton DOJ tried to break it up for offering Internet Explorer for free, Apple AAPL -0.6% was slowly limping out of near bankruptcy, Google was a largely unknown search engine surely dismissed by AOL and Yahoo, and then Facebook didn't exist. You see, Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school.

Imagine if you'd purchased the shares of just the public companies mentioned above in 2000. Amazon was trading at around $70/share. Apple was split adjusted trading at under $1 share relative to $116 right now, and even with Microsoft you would have quadrupled your investment. Google was still private, and valued at a microscopic fraction of its present worth. Facebook once again didn't exist, but as evidenced by Peter Thiel being able to acquire a 10% stake for $500,000, it's evident that much more than a few VCs passed on it.

What the technology landscape of 2000 tells us about the future is that the companies set to vanquish the technology giants of today are almost certainly unknown, wholly dismissed, or don't even exist yet. But rest assured they'll soon enough be known very well, only to be discovered by the DOJ after they achieve commercial dominance that is reflected by their membership in the trillion dollar club.

All of this needs to be remembered in consideration of the DOJ's lawsuit against Google. Supposedly consumers love its search engine too much, and because they do, government must step in and neuter that which consumers have chosen. Yes, antitrust is anti-consumer. Always.

Posted by at October 25, 2020 4:00 AM

  

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