3 things we need to do about Google and Facebok (and GAFA)

5 billion Dollar? Who cares, Facebook earns that in a month and their stock price went up. Here’s John Naughton’s veiw. He is professor of the public understanding of technology at the Open University and wrote in the Guardian: Money’s no object for Facebook, so hit it where it hurts | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian

“First, regulators need to focus on these companies’ capacity to hoover up and monetise the data they extract from their users’ online behaviour. Since much of this data has been accumulated in a lawless (or at any rate law-free) environment and it now constitutes their most valuable asset (not to mention the insuperable barrier to entry for potential competitors), Google and Facebook should be obliged to make the data available to other organisations (including in the public sector) under controlled conditions.

Second, given that the entire digital industry runs on data, competition authorities ought to be much more sceptical about the acquisition strategies of digital giants. (…) Facebook ought never to have been allowed to acquire WhatsApp and Instagram. (…)  Nothing comparable in the media industry would have been allowed, or indeed in many other areas of industrial life. Equally, Google should never have been allowed to buy YouTube, and it should now be compelled to hive it off as a separate outfit.

Third, competition authorities should put the opaque, high-speed data-trading marketplaces owned and operated by Google and Facebook under the microscope – as the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority now intends to do. In no other area of industrial life would companies be allowed to be operators of such vast and entirely opaque marketplaces.”

Meanwhile, in France: 

The Debate – France takes on Silicon Valley: Washington threatens tariffs over GAFA tax

It’s not just Trump: the consensus goes beyond party lines in the United States to defend the interests of a Silicon Valley that to a large degree seems to own the internet. What is fair taxation in the era of globalisation? The OECD and G20 nations are working on it and France has said it will scrap the new tax once fresh rules are in place globally.