You may not know who Zephyr Teachout is now. But if she wins the New York attorney general race, you may know Zephyr Teachout then. Teachout made a promise to voters this past Wednesday. By using state and federal antitrust laws, Teachout would explore ways of breaking up Google and Facebook.
Teachout says tech companies are dominating online advertising which is drawing revenue away from print publishers. Interestingly, she made these promises outside the offices of the New York Daily News.
“As attorney general,” Teachout said, “I would work with my colleagues in other states to launch a major antitrust investigation to look into the ways in which Facebook and Google are wielding and may be abusing their duopoly powers.”
Google and Facebook’s power in the advertising market represent a “democratic crisis” for journalism, Teachout said in an interview Wednesday.
Teachout says part of her plan would be to block any new mergers or acquisitions made by these tech companies. She believes, allowing them to grow will further cut off innovation and competition.
She promised to use federal laws such as the Clayton Act and state statutes such as the Donnelly Act to prosecute monopolistic behavior. And she said she could examine even completed acquisitions for targeted “unwinding.”
Teachout said the “decimation” of local newspapers such as the Daily News reflects a broader economic reality for publishers.
“People are making money off of local news,” she said. “But it isn’t the journalists, and it isn’t the publishers. It’s Facebook and Google.”
It will be interesting to see if Zephyr Teachout does what she says she will should she win the election. The Washington Post reached out to both Google and Facebook for comment with no luck. I’m sure they’ll have something to say once the election gets farther in.
Last Updated on July 30, 2018.