Final Word from Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The strategy of Amazon, Facebook, Google and other U.S. tech giants is to bring consumers into submission by offering cheap or free services until achieving a monopoly, at which point they begin fully exploiting the dependencies they have nurtured. Once a person is caught in the web, extraction is extremely difficult. The Czech government's 7% digital tax will address the anti-competitive offshoring aspect of this strategy but will provide no material benefit to users themselves. More helpful would be legislation to bring the tech giants under domestic law where possible, similar to the stated efforts of Prague city hall against Airbnb and Uber. Czechs have little local recourse if Facebook cuts off their lifeline to the outside world without giving a specific reason. Unlike the tech giants, they can't ask Donald Trump to impose trade sanctions. The sooner national governments take action of their own, the less likely that they too will be forced into submission by the digital gods. [ Czech Republic United States president Twitter ]

Glossary of difficult words

submission - the action of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person;

to nurture - to help or encourage the development of;

extraction - the act of removing or taking out;

offshoring - the practice of basing some of a company's processes or services overseas or in a tax haven, so as to take advantage of lower costs;

recourse - the legal right to demand compensation or payment;

lifeline - a thing on which someone or something depends or which provides a means of escape from a difficult situation.

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