Today, all of the big tech CEOs (except for Satya) were supposed to testify in front of Congress for an antitrust inquiry. I think that led to all of the tech companies and publications releasing stuff like this last week:
- Amazon Met With Startups About Investing, Then Launched Competing Products (WSJ)
- Apple’s App Store and Other Digital Marketplaces: A Comparison of Commission Rates (Apple)
- Slack Accuses Microsoft of Illegally Crushing Competition (NYT)
- Internal Google Program Taps Data on Rival Android Apps (The Information)
One interesting article in all of this was this profile on Tim Bray, a VP who left Amazon in early May with a viral blog post criticizing Amazon for firing whistleblowers. Since leaving, he has continued speaking out against Amazon and the broader wealth and power balances in our society.
To help address the problem of how concentrated Amazon’s power is, he wrote a PRFAQ describing how Amazon might spin off their AWS business. If you’ve ever wondered what an Amazon PRFAQ doc looks like, check it out.
… and let me know what you think. Would spinning AWS out of Amazon solve any of society’s problems?