Dec 20, 2022Liked by Vass Bednar

From the GM article:

"In a bricks-and-mortar context, a shop owner has no obligation to stock, display or advertise comparable brands. But a more apt analogy here would be if Google banned Microsoft Office from its Android app store so as to favour Google Docs."

Could this also be interpreted as banning people from entering a store if they are wearing or posses a competitors product such as a branded tshirt?

In some contexts, we seem to permit this, I'm thinking of restaurants and entertainment venues that have policies of no outside food and drink in order to support demand for $5 sodas, $15 beers, and $30 nachos. We seem to tolerate venues extracting far higher than 'market' prices for goods by maintaining a monopoly on the sale of food and beverage within their domain.

Perhaps the fact that microblogging is intimately tied to speech puts them into a completely different context to material goods and services.

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Very excited to summarize some cool comments from a "regs" reader. They are helping me think this all through.

- would a relevant market analysis find Twitter to be in the same product market as other social media services?

Seems like Twitter *does* exercise some dominance over specific audiences.

The relevant market analysis from the Bureau is supposed to be as NARROW as possible. It is always focussed on the smallest possible set of products that can be seen as substitutes for each other. So if today, Twitter stopped operating (increasingly plausible?), where would people switch? Would Twitter users simply migrate to Facebook or Instagram? Or maybe instead of users, we'd look at ADVERTISERS making the switch.

ALSO - the House subcommittee report left Twitter OUT of the social media competition conversation - but Twitter is a great example of how the focus on market definition leads to unhelpful places. It seems clear that Twitter has some import for a specific audience that doesn't necessarily track well with ad dollars, time on site, etc. metrics.

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A lot of the issues in tech seem to boil down to “publisher or platform”. Finding the dividing line between the two would solve a lot of these issues.

Publishers aren’t obligated to provide advertising space for their competitors, but platforms should be neutral.

Publishers must take responsibility for the content they publish, but platforms should remain out of the business of monitoring user content.

Is Twitter similar to The Toronto Star, or more like Bell Telephone? It can’t be both without creating all these contradictions.

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