Box 1


As an example of the merits and power of regulation in taming digital and tech monopolies one can look at past cases such as the breakup of Bell Systems and AT&T. The dismantling of those two giants has led to the fostering of innovation that has enriched the tech world and that drove much of Silicon Valley’s growth. The involvement of the government in the regulation of those companies has forced them to make many of their patents open to the public (e.g., the TV RCA protocol, which greatly pushed the enhancement of the television market, enabling cables, DVDs, and a variety of additional high-quality protocols) and expanded the television marketing greatly. The two cases have been extensively discussed by scholars in the context of successful antitrust regulation, which led to a flourishing of innovation, as quoted in the following statement from Intel co-founder, Gordon Moore (25):


“The most important development for the commercial semiconductor industry (…) was the antitrust suit filed against the Bell Systems. (…) This started the growth of ‘Silicon Valley’” (26)


Or, in the case of AT&T:


“[AT&T licensing policy shaped by antitrust policy] remains as one of the most unheralded contribution to economic development—possibly far exceeding the Marshall plan in terms of the wealth generation capability it established abroad and in the United States” (27)


This, in addition to the forceful breakup and the patents licensing gave birth to corporations like Intel, and the development of the Linux system that many of today’s technological platforms operate with.


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