拆分科技巨頭!

作者:伊麗莎白·華倫(Elizabeth Warren)
原題:Here’s how we can break up Big Tech
翻譯:雷公

Twenty-five years ago, Facebook, Google, and Amazon didn’t exist. Now they are among the most valuable and well-known companies in the world. It’s a great story — but also one that highlights why the government must break up monopolies and promote competitive markets.

25年前,Facebook、Google和Amazon還不存在。現在他們是世界上最有價值和最知名的公司。這是一個偉大的故事——但這也突顯出爲什麼政府必須打破壟斷,促進競爭市場。

In the 1990s, Microsoft — the tech giant of its time — was trying to parlay its dominance in computer operating systems into dominance in the new area of web browsing. The federal government sued Microsoft for violating anti-monopoly laws and eventually reached a settlement. The government’s antitrust case against Microsoft helped clear a path for Internet companies like Google and Facebook to emerge.

上世紀90年代,當時的科技巨頭微軟(Microsoft)試圖將其在電腦操作系統領域的絕對優勢,轉化為網絡瀏覽時代的主導地位。聯邦政府起訴微軟違反反壟斷法,最終達成和解。政府對微軟的反壟斷訴訟爲Google和Facebook等互聯網公司的崛起掃清了道路。

The story demonstrates why promoting competition is so important: it allows new, groundbreaking companies to grow and thrive — which pushes everyone in the marketplace to offer better products and services. Aren’t we all glad that now we have the option of using Google instead of being stuck with Bing?

這個故事說明了爲什麼促進競爭如此重要:它允許新的、開創性的公司成長和繁榮——向市場上的每個人提供更好的產品和服務。我們是不是都很樂於選擇使用Google而不是被迫要使用Bing呢?

Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.

今天的大型科技公司擁有太多的權力——凌駕於我們的經濟、社會和民主之上。他們強壓競爭,利用我們的私人信息謀取利益,使競爭環境朝著利己的方向傾斜。在這個過程中,他們傷害了小企業,扼殺了創新。

I want a government that makes sure everybody — even the biggest and most powerful companies in America — plays by the rules. And I want to make sure that the next generation of great American tech companies can flourish. To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.

我希望政府確保每個個體——包括美國最大、最有實力的公司——都遵守規則。我希望確保下一代偉大的美國科技公司能夠蓬勃發展。要做到這一點,我們需要阻止這一代大型科技公司濫用政治權力來制定有利於它們的規則、濫用經濟權力來扼殺或收購每一個潛在的競爭對手。

That’s why my administration will make big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition — including breaking up Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

這就是爲什麼我的政府將對科技行業進行重大的結構性改革,以促進更多的競爭——包括拆分亞馬遜(Amazon)、Facebook和谷歌。(註:作者打算競選美國總統)

How the new tech monopolies hurt small businesses and innovation:
新科技壟斷巨頭是如何傷害小企業和創新的

America’s big tech companies provide valuable products but also wield enormous power over our digital lives. Nearly half of all e-commerce goes through Amazon. More than 70% of all Internet traffic goes through sites owned or operated by Google or Facebook.

美國的大型科技公司提供有價值的產品,但也對我們的數字生活擁有巨大的影響力。近一半的電子商務是通過Amazon進行的。超過70%的互聯網流量來自Google或Facebook擁有或運營的網站。

As these companies have grown larger and more powerful, they have used their resources and control over the way we use the Internet to squash small businesses and innovation, and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people. To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies.

隨着這些公司變得越來越大、越來越強大,他們利用自己的資源和對我們使用互聯網的方式的控制,打壓小企業和創新,用他們自己的金融利益來替代美國人民更廣泛的利益。爲了恢復我們民主國家的權力平衡,爲了促進競爭,爲了確保下一代技術創新像上一代一樣充滿活力,現在是拆分我們最大的科技公司的時候了。

America’s big tech companies have achieved their level of dominance in part based on two strategies:

美國大型科技公司之所以能取得如此的主導地位,部分原因在於它們的兩大戰略:

  • Using Mergers to Limit Competition. Facebook has purchased potential competitors Instagram and WhatsApp. Amazon has used its immense market power to force smaller competitors like Diapers.com to sell at a discounted rate. Google has snapped up the mapping company Waze and the ad company DoubleClick. Rather than blocking these transactions for their negative long-term effects on competition and innovation, government regulators have waved them through.
  • Using Proprietary Marketplaces to Limit Competition. Many big tech companies own a marketplace — where buyers and sellers transact — while also participating on the marketplace. This can create a conflict of interest that undermines competition. Amazon crushes small companies by copying the goods they sell on the Amazon Marketplace and then selling its own branded version. Google allegedly snuffed out a competing small search engine by demoting its content on its search algorithm, and it has favored its own restaurant ratings over those of Yelp.

利用合併來限制競爭。Facebook收購了潛在的競爭對手Instagram和WhatsApp。Amazon利用其巨大的市場力量,迫使Diapers.com等規模較小的競爭對手以折扣價出售商品。Google已經收購了地圖公司Waze和廣告公司DoubleClick。政府監管機構並沒有因爲這些交易對競爭和創新的長期負面影響而阻止它們,而是讓它們獲得通過。

利用專有市場限制競爭。許多大型科技公司都擁有一個市場——在那兒買賣雙方進行交易——同時這些巨頭也參與到市場中。這可能會造成損害競爭的利益衝突。Amazon通過複製小公司在亞馬遜市場上銷售的商品,然後再銷售自己的品牌版本,把它們打得粉碎。據稱,Google通過降低搜索算法上的內容,扼殺了一個與之競爭的小型搜索引擎,而且谷歌更青睞自己的餐廳評級,而不是Yelp的評級。

Weak antitrust enforcement has led to a dramatic reduction in competition and innovation in the tech sector. Venture capitalists are now hesitant to fund new startups to compete with these big tech companies because it’s so easy for the big companies to either snap up growing competitors or drive them out of business. The number of tech startups has slumped, there are fewer high-growth young firms typical of the tech industry, and first financing rounds for tech startups have declined 22% since 2012.

反壟斷執法不力導致科技行業的競爭和創新大幅減少。風險投資家現在不太願意爲新的初創公司提供資金去與這些科技巨頭競爭,因爲大公司很容易就能收購成長中的競爭對手,或者乾脆把它們趕出市場。科技初創企業的數量大幅減少,高科技行業典型的高增長年輕企業數量減少,科技初創企業的首輪融資自2012年以來減少了22%。

With fewer competitors entering the market, the big tech companies do not have to compete as aggressively in key areas like protecting our privacy. And some of these companies have grown so powerful that they can bully cities and states into showering them with massive taxpayer handouts in exchange for doing business, and can act — in the words of Mark Zuckerberg — “more like a government than a traditional company.”

隨着進入市場的競爭對手減少,大型科技公司不必在某些關鍵領域保持積極進取:比如保護我們的隱私。其中一些公司發展得如此強大,以至於它們可以脅迫城市和州向它們提供大量納稅人的錢,以換取它們開展業務。用馬克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)的話來說,它們的運作“更像一個政府,而不是一家傳統公司”。

We must ensure that today’s tech giants do not crowd out potential competitors, smother the next generation of great tech companies, and wield so much power that they can undermine our democracy.

我們必須確保今天的科技巨頭不會排擠潛在的競爭對手,不會扼殺下一代偉大的科技公司,不會濫用權力破壞我們的民主。

Restoring competition in the tech sector:
重建科技領域的競爭

America has a long tradition of breaking up companies when they have become too big and dominant — even if they are generally providing good service at a reasonable price.

美國有一個悠久的傳統,當公司變得太大、太占主導地位時,就會分拆它們——即使它們通常以合理的價格提供良好的服務。

A century ago, in the Gilded Age, waves of mergers led to the creation of some of the biggest companies in American history — from Standard Oil and JPMorgan to the railroads and AT&T. In response to the rise of these “trusts,” Republican and Democratic reformers pushed for antitrust laws to break up these conglomerations of power to ensure competition.

一個世紀以前,在鍍金時代,併購浪潮催生了美國歷史上一些規模最大的公司——從標準石油公司(Standard Oil)和摩根大通(JPMorgan),到鐵路公司和美國電話電報公司(AT&T)。作爲對這些“托拉斯”崛起的迴應,共和黨和民主黨的改革家們推動反托拉斯法,以打破這些權力集團,確保競爭。

But where the value of the company came from its network, reformers recognized that ownership of a network and participating on the network caused a conflict of interest. Instead of nationalizing these industries — as other countries did — Americans in the Progressive Era decided to ensure that these networks would not abuse their power by charging higher prices, offering worse quality, reducing innovation, and favoring some over others. We required a structural separation between the network and other businesses, and also demanded that the network offer fair and non-discriminatory service.

然而,當公司的價值來自其網絡時,改革者認識到擁有一個網絡並參與到其中會導致利益衝突。在進步時代( the Progressive Era ),美國人沒有像其他國家那樣將這些(依靠網絡獲利的)產業國有化,而是決定確保這些網絡不會濫用權力來收取更高的價格、提供更差的質量、減少創新,以及偏袒某些行業。我們要求網絡與其他業務進行結構性分離,並要求網絡提供公平、非歧視的服務。

In this tradition, my administration would restore competition to the tech sector by taking two major steps:

按照這一傳統,我(組建)的政府將通過採取兩大步驟恢復科技行業的競爭:

First, by passing legislation that requires large tech platforms to be designated as “Platform Utilities” and broken apart from any participant on that platform.
首先,通過立法,要求大型科技平台指定爲“ 平台公共設施”,提供平台服務的企業不得參與該平台上的任何事物,要求徹底分離。

Companies with an annual global revenue of $25 billion or more and that offer to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties would be designated as “platform utilities.”

全球年收入250億美元或以上的公司,其向公衆提供在線市場、交易所或第三方連接平台,將被指定爲“平台公共設施”。

These companies would be prohibited from owning both the platform utility and any participants on that platform. Platform utilities would be required to meet a standard of fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory dealing with users. Platform utilities would not be allowed to transfer or share data with third parties.

這些公司將被禁止同時擁有平台公共設施和該平台上的參與者身份。平台公共設施須滿足公平、合理和非歧視地對待用戶的標準。平台公共設施將不允許與第三方傳輸或共享數據。(註:Platform utility實在是不知道應該怎樣翻譯,希望讀者有更好的建議)

For smaller companies (those with annual global revenue of between $90 million and $25 billion), their platform utilities would be required to meet the same standard of fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory dealing with users, but would not be required to structurally separate from any participant on the platform.

對於較小的公司(全球年收入在9000萬美元到250億美元之間的公司),他們的平台公共設施將被要求滿足公平、合理和非歧視地對待用戶的相同標準,但不需要在結構上與平臺上的任何參與者分離(意即可以參與其中)。

To enforce these new requirements, federal regulators, State Attorneys General, or injured private parties would have the right to sue a platform utility to enjoin any conduct that violates these requirements, to disgorge any ill-gotten gains, and to be paid for losses and damages. A company found to violate these requirements would also have to pay a fine of 5 percent of annual revenue.

爲了執行這些新規定,聯邦監管機構、州檢察長或受損害的私人方將有權起訴平台公共設施公司,要求其停止其違法行為,交出任何非法所得,並承擔受害者的損失和支付賠償金。被發現違反這些規定的公司還將被處以年收入5%的罰款。

Amazon Marketplace, Google’s ad exchange, and Google Search would be platform utilities under this law. Therefore, Amazon Marketplace and Basics, and Google’s ad exchange and businesses on the exchange would be split apart. Google Search would have to be spun off as well.

在這個法律下,Amazon市場,Google的廣告交換,和Google搜索均符合平台公共設施的要求。因此,Amazon市場與Basics,以及Google的廣告交換平台與其在平台上的業務將被拆分。Google搜索也必須剝離。

Second, my administration would appoint regulators committed to reversing illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers.
其次,我的政府將委任監管機構致力於扭轉非法和反競爭的科技併購。

Current antitrust laws empower federal regulators to break up mergers that reduce competition. I will appoint regulators who are committed to using existing tools to unwind anti-competitive mergers, including:

目前的反托拉斯法授權聯邦監管機構拆分減少競爭的併購。我將指定監管機構使用現有的工具,去解除那些反競爭的併購案,諸如:

  • Amazon: Whole Foods; Zappos
  • Facebook: WhatsApp; Instagram
  • Google: Waze; Nest; DoubleClick

Unwinding these mergers will promote healthy competition in the market — which will put pressure on big tech companies to be more responsive to user concerns, including about privacy.

撤銷這些合併案將促進市場的健康競爭——這將給大型科技公司帶來壓力,要求它們對用戶的擔憂(包括隱私問題)做出更積極的迴應。

Protecting the future of the internet
保護互聯網的未來

So what would the Internet look like after all these reforms?

那麼,在所有這些改革之後,互聯網會是什麼樣子呢?

Here’s what won’t change: You’ll still be able to go on Google and search like you do today. You’ll still be able to go on Amazon and find 30 different coffee machines that you can get delivered to your house in two days. You’ll still be able to go on Facebook and see how your old friend from school is doing.

不會改變的是:你仍然可以像今天一樣使用Google進行搜索。你仍然可以在Amazon上找到30種不同的咖啡機,你可以在兩天內把它們送到你家。你仍然可以在Facebook上看到你學校的老朋友在做什麼。

Here’s what will change: Small businesses would have a fair shot to sell their products on Amazon without the fear of Amazon pushing them out of business. Google couldn’t smother competitors by demoting their products on Google Search. Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve the user experience and protect our privacy. Tech entrepreneurs would have a fighting chance to compete against the tech giants.

將會發生的變化是:小企業將有一個公平的機會在Amazon上銷售自己的產品,而不用擔心Amazon會把它們擠出市場。Google不能通過在搜索引擎中通過降級的手段來壓制競爭對手。Facebook將面臨來自Instagram和WhatsApp的切實壓力,要求其改善用戶體驗,保護我們的隱私。科技創業者們將獲得與科技巨頭們放手一搏的競爭機會。

Of course, my proposals today won’t solve every problem we have with our big tech companies.

當然,我今天的提議不會解決我們與大型科技公司之間的所有問題。

We must give people more control over how their personal information is collected, shared, and sold — and do it in a way that doesn’t lock in massive competitive advantages for the companies that already have a ton of our data.

我們必須給予人們更多的控制權,關於他們的個人信息是如何收集、共享和出售的——不能任由這些企業鎖定用戶數據來獲得競爭優勢。(註:這句話很難翻譯,請讀者多指教)

We must help America’s content creators — from local newspapers and national magazines to comedians and musicians — keep more of the value their content generates, rather than seeing it scooped up by companies like Google and Facebook.

我們必須幫助美國的內容創造者們——從地方報紙和全國性雜誌到喜劇演員和音樂家——保持他們的內容產生的更多價值,而不是眼睜睜看着他們的成果被Google和Facebook這樣的公司攫取。

And we must ensure that Russia — or any other foreign power — can’t use Facebook or any other form of social media to influence our elections.

我們必須確保俄羅斯——或任何其他外國勢力——不能使用Facebook或任何其他形式的社交媒體來影響我們的選舉。

Those are each tough problems, but the benefit of taking these steps to promote competition is that it allows us to make some progress on each of these important issues too. More competition means more options for consumers and content creators, and more pressure on companies like Facebook to address the glaring problems with their businesses.

這些都是棘手的問題,但採取這些措施促進競爭的好處是,它允許我們在這些重要問題上也取得一些進展:更多的競爭意味着消費者和內容創造者有更多的選擇,也意味着Facebook等公司面臨更大的壓力,要求它們解決業務上的突出問題。

Healthy competition can solve a lot of problems. The steps I’m proposing today will allow existing big tech companies to keep offering customer-friendly services, while promoting competition, stimulating innovation in the tech sector, and ensuring that America continues to lead the world in producing cutting-edge tech companies. It’s how we protect the future of the Internet.

健康的競爭可以解決很多問題。我今天提出的這些措施將允許現有的大型科技公司繼續提供對客戶友好的服務,同時促進競爭,刺激科技領域的創新,並確保美國繼續在生產尖端科技公司方面領導世界。這就是我們如何保護互聯網的未來。

We can get this done. We can make big, structural change. But it’s going to take a grassroots movement, and it starts right now. Sign our petition if you agree, and let’s get ready to fight hard together.

我們能做到。我們可以做出重大的結構性改變。但這需要一場草根運動,現在就開始。如果你同意,請在請願書上簽名,讓我們一起努力奮鬥。


作者簡介:伊莉莎白·安·華倫(英語:Elizabeth Ann Warren(舊姓赫林(Herring));1949年6月22日-)美國民主黨籍政治人物,是馬薩諸塞州的資深聯邦參議員。2019年2月10日,華倫正式宣布參加2020美國總統選舉。

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在《拆分科技巨頭!》中有 1 則留言

  1. Warren 所说的 “platform utility” 实际上就是和 “public utility” 一个意思。

    A public utility (usually just utility) is an organization that maintains the infrastructure for a public service Public utilities。

    那么platform utility实际上就是只负责platform的运行并提供各项服务,并不能又是裁判又是球员。
    称为“平台功能提供商”比较合适

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