Captive Audience

Captive Audience

The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age

Book - 2013
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Ten years ago, the United States stood at the forefront of the Internet revolution. With some of the fastest speeds and lowest prices in the world for high-speed Internet access, the nation was poised to be the global leader in the new knowledge-based economy. Today that global competitive advantage has all but vanished because of a series of government decisions and resulting monopolies that have allowed dozens of countries, including Japan and South Korea, to pass us in both speed and price of broadband. This steady slide backward not only deprives consumers of vital services needed in a competitive employment and business market--it also threatens the economic future of the nation.

This important book by leading telecommunications policy expert Susan Crawford explores why Americans are now paying much more but getting much less when it comes to high-speed Internet access. Using the 2011 merger between Comcast and NBC Universal as a lens, Crawford examines how we have created the biggest monopoly since the breakup of Standard Oil a century ago. In the clearest terms, this book explores how telecommunications monopolies have affected the daily lives of consumers and America's global economic standing.

Publisher: New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2013.
ISBN: 9780300153132
Branch Call Number: 384.0973/CRAWFORD
Characteristics: viii, 360 p. ; 25 cm.


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Oct 27, 2013

Great book, and especially important to understand the concentration of ownership within the telecom industry - - after, or concurrently - - reading this, be sure to read Tim Wu's "The Master Switch" paying close attention to his section on AT&T. (A telecom monopoly does make surveillance that much easier, albeit for a short time.) My one quibble: Standard Oil was never broken up in reality, only on paper, but the ownership and stocks remained in Rockefeller hands via their foundations and trusts - - see Matthieu Auzanneau's book, Oil, Power, and War plus John Moody's "The Masters of Capital" to better understand this.


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