By South China Morning Post at 12:47 PM 5/31/2020 (PDT)
As delegates move on to the new topic of technology monopolies and their effects on consumers, there seems to be a consensus between all the countries that although the technology is beneficial for lives and economy, monopolies must be regulated and restricted. The concerns range from smaller businesses who might compete with these monopolies to the consumers of these monopolies. For example, Iran has insisted that monopolies “respect consumer rights” especially since there have been situations where Apple has disrespected Iranian consumers' wishes. And, Kenya worries that, “they stop innovation and control prices”, two things that are extremely hurtful for a growing economy.
These concerns are shared amongst developing and developed countries; however that isn’t enough to prevent them from benefiting from such monopolies as well. Take Kenya for example. To grow their technology sector, they “bring technology monopolies into its countries”, which means they acknowledge that there are benefits. Japan also notes these benefits by saying that, “they encourage innovation and work on bigger and better products”. Despite their problems, technology monopolies are incredibly efficient and have many resources to help developing nations further their technology sector. There is agreement that beyond their possibly unethical practices, tech monopolies bring good to the countries they are in.
Yet, there are still nuances in this seemingly homogenous debate. The US, home of many large tech monopolies, has drawn a line in the sand where there will be, “no breaking up of tech monopolies”. They feel like it is not their place to interfere within the market. However, Germany counters this by making the point that “small rivals should exist” and there is a difference between “a sizable lead in the market and complete control”. This leaves open a possibility for debate as countries talk about how much interference with these companies is proper.
The picture of technology monopolies is best summed up by the words of the United States, where they wish for technology monopolies where there is “large scale usage of the efficiencies without the consumer harms that come with it”.
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