Sometime soon, House Antitrust subcommittee Chairman Cicilline will summon the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google to testify in the sixth hearing they’ve held on OnlinePlatformsandMarketPower, putting the topic of competition in the tech sector front and center. We will undoubtedly hear extensive references to “competitors” to the Big Tech monopolies, and in particular, about the rise of TikTok. Facebook, my former employer, has regularly named TikTok as a competitor in testimony in front of Congress, in interviews, and even in leaked internal Q&As. And TikTok is larger in size and revenue than Instagram or WhatsApp were when Facebook purchased them. I have always found it odd that Facebook cites TikTok as a meaningful competitor when the history of TikTok’s rise in the west actually seems to provide more evidence of Facebook’s dominance.
The above excerpt was originally published in Margins.
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