back to article Oh no, look out, Google, Facebook, and pals. You're doomed. Here comes another watchdog to, er, nip at your ankles

America's consumer protection watchdog, the Federal Trade Commission, has created a task force to dig into whether the tech industry has engaged in anti-competitive behavior. The monopoly-abuse-busters will contain more than a dozen lawyers from the FTC's Bureau of Competition, along with a technology fellow who will "provide …

  1. Gene Cash Silver badge

    > Facebook and Google are presumably preparing for some vigorous sucking on their toes by the regulator.

    Alrighty then... there's a mental image that's going to take a quart of single-malt mindbleach.

    1. Huw D Silver badge
      Coat

      Toe sucking?

      I didn't know David Mellor was back on the scene.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      quart of single-malt mindbleach

      Start with a large treble of the good stuff and then, when your taste buds are sufficiently numbed, switch to something inferior (paintstripper/bulk blended whisky or, in the worst case, bourbon..)

      Saves cost that way.

  2. GrapeBunch

    MicroCasey

    If they're happy with Microsoft (the OS purveyor) being the same company as Microsoft (the publisher of user software), and the trade practices it has engaged in, then I don't foresee much joy in mudville.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Futile

    Yeah, I'm sure that Facebook and Google are shaking in their boots. /s

    If you have ever tried to file a complaint with the FTC you would know that they don't even bother to hide the fact that they will not do anything more than make a note that you contacted them.

    They will tell you that up front.

    The only thing more futile is trying to report a dodgy app to Google.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    FTC

    Otherwise known as Feck The Consumer.

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Once a company becomes as big as the likes of Facebook, Google etc they start to talk about monopolies and breaking them up. But in the tech industry things can change so quick that someone who once dominated can become an also ran almost overnight as customers start to flock to new startups offering something fresh.

    Look at the likes of Myspace how quickly that was abandoned when Facebook came along. And Facebook would today be a lot more irrelevant had it not purchased Instagram which is used by a lot of young people who prefer it over Facebook. Sega and Nintendo ruled the consoles arena in the 8 and 16bit era were replaced by Sony and Microsoft once the move to 32bit started.

    I am not saying that something shouldn't be done to about the power these companies have, but I think blocking acquisitions of smaller competitors would be a better start. Something if they had done back in the 1990s when Microsoft were buying anyone who made a half decent competitor product, might mean we had less vendor lock in, in the desktop OS and Office software today.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "And Facebook would today be a lot more irrelevant had it not purchased Instagram which is used by a lot of young people who prefer it over Facebook."

      This is the point where you really have a monopoly: the incumbent can simply buy up the competition and close it or run it, whichever makes most money.

    2. SN4KE
      WTF?

      It has benefits

      Yeah but then it would over-complicate everything. Idk if you play video games but if you did you would know that 3 OS systems is enough in the supported list. It would be an absolute nightmare to try and make game devs accommodate more operating systems. Having less operating systems is better imo. The issue with breaking up a monopoly is that it can make a company operate in a more complex manner. Look at internet providers as an example. I disagree with your point on operating systems, because this just makes it overwhelming for the customer. The three most common are Windows, macOS and Linux. Lets keep it that way.

  6. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    Well Amazon needs to be there too and probably Apple (I like the products and appreciate some of the benefits of a walled garden - but without the benefits of an independent paid for certification of apps to justify a 30% charge it is difficult)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watchdog?

    "Watchdog"

    No, try:

    "Lapdog"

    FTFY

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