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Sinan Aral Responds to Anti-monopoly Proposals

June 14, 2021

MIT IDE Director, Sinan Aral, was featured on Yahoo!Finance June 14 about the battle to end big tech monopolies in the U.S. Interviewers asked Aral, author of the recent book, The Hype Machine, how several bills proposed in the House of Representatives last week would impact social media companies. Aral said the five bills are “important steps” toward improving innovation and competition in the platform landscape. They were introduced as ways to break up major tech companies such as Facebook and Amazon to counteract their growing market monopolies.

Aral said breaking up tech companies by itself isn’t sufficient to correct widespread social media problems. “Structural reform of these economies,” as well as interoperability legislation are critical requirements. “There’s a glaring lack of a focus on interoperability legislation, which is a big miss. If we had that, it would probably be the best [way]… to create innovation and competition, especially in the social media economy,” he said. Nevertheless, “these are important steps forward. It signals a change from what used to be a very pro-business stance on competition and anti-monopoly over the last 30 years.”

Watch the full interview here.