Silicon Valley Rhetoric: Three Myths Debunked

CPI Antitrust Chronicle, May 2018

6 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2018  

John M. Newman

University of Memphis - Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Date Written: May 2018

Abstract

The European Court of Justice's recent move to classify Uber as a transportation-services company attracted international headlines—yet it was a fairly straightforward, common-sense decision. What, then, made it so remarkable? It was one of the first high-level rejections of Silicon Valley Rhetoric. Uber may scrupulously refer to itself as a "ridesharing" platform, but its for-profit business model has nothing to do with "sharing."

Today's tech giants are unrivaled in their ability to verbally disguise who they are and what they do. Regrettably, antitrust and competition authorities have at times fallen under their spell. This essay debunks three such examples of Silicon Valley Rhetoric: the Myth of the Garage (entry is easy!), the Myth of Free (our products are free!), and the Myth of Constant Disruption (competition is just a click away!).

Keywords: Silicon Valley Antitrust, Tech Giants Antitrust, Google Antitrust, Facebook Antitrust, Uber Antitrust, Digital Antitrust, Google Competition, Facebook Competition, Amazon Antitrust

JEL Classification: A00, D42, D43, D61, K00, K21, K23, O33, O38

Suggested Citation

Newman, John M., Silicon Valley Rhetoric: Three Myths Debunked (May 2018). CPI Antitrust Chronicle, May 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3192063

John M. Newman (Contact Author)

University of Memphis - Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law ( email )

One North Front Street
Memphis, TN 38103-2189
United States
9016783224 (Phone)
9016783224 (Fax)

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