Institute of the Weltethos Foundation
at the University of Tübingen

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Breaking up Digital Monopolies? A Commentary on Australia vs. Facebook

Is breaking up digital monopolies important and right for and in a democracy?
In this video commentary Institute professor Prof. Dr. Dr. Ulrich Hemel argues on the occasion of the new media law in Australia, that it is not uncommon for industrial and technological innovations in the past to require the breaking up of monopolies at some point. Why? Institute director Hemel gives the following reasons in the video: “Monopolies stop acting in the interest of customers at some point; they start making policy themselves at some point and lead to a very large concentration of economic power, which then also becomes an expression of political power.”

If you don’t want that, Hemel continues, because it contradicts the democratic constitution, for example, you have to take action against it and break up monopolies – several times if necessary. The economist and social scientist demands an active and courageous discourse on these issues also to be conducted in Germany and in Europe – with a view to consumer ethics.