Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

I’ve Got Mine Now Sod Off Says Zuckerberg

Not that he puts it quite so inelegantly but this is the message from Mark Zuckerberg. He’s made his pile now everyone who might compete with him can bugger off. And we should change the law to make certain of this too.

For Zuckerberg is demanding that social media should be regulated. Regulation being just what incumbents in any market just love, for it increases the costs of trying to enter that market and competing with them.

Uber is, for example, little other than a concerted assault on the regulations that surrounded and protected the profits in the taxi market. It’s even there, right in their own regulatory documents, that the New York City cab license was to restrict competition so that drivers could make a profit. As we can see from the losses Uber has made, it takes significant economic resources to overcome that sort of regulatory moat.

Zuckerberg is, therefore, arguing that now that he’s established, no one should be able to come in and compete with him. As he says, Facebook has “35,000 people to review online content.“ You, you darling little startup you, if regulations now say you’ve got to monitor all content, you’d better have tens of thousands of people on day one to do that monitoring. As Zuckerberg goes on to boast, “Our budget is bigger today than the whole revenue of the company when we went public in 2012, when we had a billion users.” So, when you hit up the angel investors, you’re going to be asking for how many billions in that first year to be able to meet the regulatory demands of competing with Facebook?

Effectively, don’t allow competition to Facebook. For that would make Priscilla angry given her plans for how to spend all that money.

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