New York Times Seeks Opinion From Diana Moss and Harry First on Breakup of Big Tech

On May 17, New York Time’s The Week in Tech: Putting an A.I. Genie Back in Its Bottle quoted AAI President Diana Moss and AAI Advisory Board member Harry First in an article about the possibility of “Facebook’s dismantlement.”

From the article:

Harry First, a law professor at New York University who specializes in antitrust, said breaking up what then remained of Facebook would be “problematic and expensive,” making it unlikely.

More skeptical was Diana L. Moss, the president of the American Antitrust Institute, who said that for any antitrust action, “the remedy has to be applied specifically to the harm; it cannot be a broad remedy.” That means that “it may not even include breaking up the company,” but would instead involve something less severe, like conduct requirements.

Mr. First agreed that injunctions and the formal monitoring of conduct were “much more likely” outcomes than a breakup.

So if an antitrust argument is used to break up the social network, it’s not guaranteed to have the desired outcome. But, as Mr. First told me, for those who want it, “it’s good to have a goal.”