Big Tech and antitrust
How to dismantle a monopoly
Would it be possible to carve up Big Tech? If so, would it ever happen?
“Father lennon, have you some money? Buy Standard Oil.” That’s what John D. Rockefeller is said to have told his golf partner, a priest, when he heard the news in 1911 that the Supreme Court had ruled his oil company was to be broken up into 34 smaller firms. It was good advice. Within a few years the value of those firms rose threefold. The net worth of Rockefeller, who owned more than 25% of each, grew from about $300m in 1911to $900m in 1913, around $23bn in current dollars.
“列侬神父，你有钱吗？请买下标准石油公司 。”据说1911年，约翰·D.洛克菲勒在听到最高法院裁定他的石油公司将被分拆成34家小公司的消息时，就是这么对他的牧师高尔夫球伙伴说的 。这是个好建议 。几年内，这些公司的价值增长了三倍 。洛克菲勒拥有两家公司25%以上的股份，其净资产从1911年的3亿美元增长到1913年的9亿美元，相当于现在的230亿美元 。
A break-up of today’s tech titans—Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple—could also unlock vast value, say some with an eye on the industry. If the most radical plan, proposed by Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic contender for America’s presidency, were fully implemented, by some calculations the parts spun off alone could be worth over $2trn—roughly half the value of the four complete firms today.
一些关注该行业的人士表示，如今的科技巨头（谷歌、亚马逊、Facebook和苹果）的分拆也可能释放出巨大的价值 。如果由美国总统的主要民主党竞争者伊丽莎白•沃伦提出的最激进的计划得到全面实施，根据一些计算，仅剥离出来的部分就价值超过2万亿美元，大约是今天四家完整公司价值的一半 。
Ms Warren’s two-pronged scheme was presented in March, but it is now coming under closer scrutiny as her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination gathers steam. The first part is relatively straightforward. She intends to unwind tech mergers deemed “anticompetitive” because they were undertaken to neutralise potential competitors. This is mainly aimed at Facebook, which in 2012 bought Instagram, a picture-heavy social network, for $1bn and in 2014 paid $19bn for WhatsApp, an instant-messaging service. Both of these, industry insiders argue, could have become serious rivals to Facebook. But Ms Warren also aims to undo other deals, such as DoubleClick, an advertising exchange bought by Google, and Whole Foods, a grocery chain acquired by Amazon.
沃伦的双管齐下的计划于今年3月提出，但随着她争取民主党总统候选人提名的活动逐渐升温，该计划目前正受到更密切的关注 。第一部分相对简单 。她打算撤销被视为“反竞争”的科技企业合并，因为这些合并是为了中和潜在竞争对手 。这主要是针对Facebook的 。2012年，Facebook斥资10亿美元收购了以图片为主的社交网络Instagram，2014年又斥资190亿美元收购了即时通讯服务WhatsApp 。业内人士认为，这两家公司都可能成为Facebook的劲敌 。但沃伦还打算撤销其它交易，例如谷歌收购的广告交易所DoubleClick，以及亚马逊收购的杂货连锁店Whole Foods 。
1.have a monopoly on something 独有
Women do not have a monopoly on feelings of betrayal.
2.carve up 瓜分
He has set about carving up the company which Hammer created from almost nothing.
3.keep an eye on something 照看，留意
I went for a run there, keeping an eye on the children the whole time.
4.spin off 使脱离(原组织)而独立
He rescued the company and later spun off its textile division into a separate entity.