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The Trade-Offs in Sen. Warren’s Plan: Strict Separation Has Costs

There are now several proposals that include a strict structural separation rule in the tech industry (e.g. Sen. Warren’s proposal). These proposals would mean a complete bar on many types of acquisitions that are currently permissible. While much has been written on these proposals, it would be useful to provide some trade-off analysis examining the strict separation rule as a policy preference.

· April 15, 2019

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Competition

Some, if not all of society’s most useful innovations are the byproduct of competition. In fact, although it may sound counterintuitive, innovation often flourishes when an incumbent is threatened by a new entrant because the threat of losing users to the competition drives product improvement. The Internet and the products and companies it has enabled are no exception; companies need to constantly stay on their toes, as the next startup is ready to knock them down with a better product.