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Blogosphere Anti-Trust Action Needed

Normally I'm happy to welcome good new sites to the internets, but Josh Marshall's looming blog super-group reeks of efforts to use his already-extant market power to squeeze all competitors out of the wonky moderate liberal market, especially when you consider that he and Kevin Drum share Washington Monthly affiliations (horizontal integration!). Does the Sherman Act apply to the blogosphere? More to the point, if the future is destined to be dominated by large virtual conglomerates I'd rather be co-opted than out-competed....

April 6, 2005 | Permalink


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Tracked on Apr 6, 2005 11:21:56 PM


You could just post your resume. Co-optation might follow.

Posted by: David in NY | Apr 6, 2005 5:02:35 PM

The Sherman Act somehow got around the void for vagueness standard.

Posted by: Ugh | Apr 6, 2005 5:08:53 PM

There's no barrier to entry in the blogosphere. Hence no antitrust gournds exist. The Herfindahl index of the blogosphere is probably like 3 or 4.

Posted by: scott lewis | Apr 6, 2005 5:17:27 PM

Yes, yes, Scott, obviously the Sherman Act doesn't actually apply to the blogosphere....

Posted by: Matthew Yglesias | Apr 6, 2005 5:19:11 PM

In defense of Josh: isn't it better to have more voices in the blogosphere?

On a different note: everyone go read an article on Matt up at CampusProgress.org. It's great. Here: http://www.campusprogress.org/tools/224/get-a-job-matthew-yglesias

Posted by: blogosphere | Apr 6, 2005 5:20:01 PM

Does Josh really have more market power than Matthew, considering that Matthew already blogs for two different blogs? Seems to me to be a questionable premise.

Nonetheless, if Matthew succeeds in applying the Sherman Act to the blogosphere, I think I will attempt to apply Title IX to his linking practices.

Posted by: Al | Apr 6, 2005 5:25:02 PM

I think the real anti-trust concern is, as hinted at by Al, that there may be some illegal tying between yglesias.typepad.com and TAPPED. Just like Microsoft.

Posted by: Goldberg | Apr 6, 2005 5:37:42 PM


oh i know. I often forget that facial expressions don't come through so well on the internets. I do think it would be funny to find the actual herfindahl index though. I'm doing my thesis on the bureaucratic politics of antitrust, so I felt in necessary to pop off.

Posted by: scott lewis | Apr 6, 2005 5:44:29 PM

Of course the Sherman Act applies to the blogosphere, the only question is whether the blogosphere is violating it.

Posted by: Ugh | Apr 6, 2005 5:47:19 PM

JMM sez: "All your left are belong to us."

Posted by: Petey | Apr 6, 2005 5:56:33 PM

Cool! Michael Lind!

Posted by: Petey | Apr 6, 2005 5:58:33 PM

Speaking of blogospheric potential Billgateses, your housemate led off CNN's super-weird daily blogs segment.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 6, 2005 6:01:41 PM

What? You mean Josh didn't cut you in on the action? I thought I controlled enough proxies on the Board to make that happen. Heads will have to roll.

Posted by: newdonkey | Apr 6, 2005 6:09:52 PM

I wonder if he'll have a "mommy" blogger. Somebody smart will one day figure out that the untapped ad revenue stream is P&G.

Posted by: Roxanne | Apr 6, 2005 6:20:17 PM

P&G? Mommy blogger?

I wish someone could unpack that post.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 6, 2005 6:26:13 PM

Procter & Gamble. They make 50-60% of the shit in your house.

stay-at-home moms who blog affiliated issues.

Posted by: Roxanne | Apr 6, 2005 6:42:28 PM

The cliche "if you have to explain a joke, it just isn't funny," is not always correct.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 6, 2005 6:48:34 PM

I'm also contacting our marketing people to share your brilliant suggestion that we call this a blogospheric "super-group." That does, of course, beg the question of the super-group model we select. I personally favor the Blind Faith one-big-splash-and-out approach, as opposed to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's perennial identity. I don't want to spend my declining years signing autographs at TPM Revival events.

Posted by: newdonkey | Apr 6, 2005 6:50:20 PM

" I don't want to spend my declining years signing autographs at TPM Revival events."

There's good scratch to be made on the nostalgia tour.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 6, 2005 7:01:11 PM

Umm, weren't you already co-opted by the Prospect?

Posted by: matt Newman | Apr 6, 2005 7:03:27 PM

You will be assimilated.

Posted by: Ugh | Apr 6, 2005 7:20:06 PM

For those of us on the other side of the aisle, the "supergroup" will be less Blind Faith and more Asia. :-)

Posted by: Al | Apr 6, 2005 7:51:17 PM

Procter & Gamble. They make 50-60% of the shit in your house.

I smell a dynamite P&G ad campaign, here...

Posted by: modus potus | Apr 6, 2005 7:52:12 PM

Dammit, Ed, I clicked in to the comments just to make some sort of lame CSN&Y/Blind Faith reference. Only to find that you've already beaten me to it, only without the 'lame' part. Ya bum, ya!

Posted by: RT | Apr 6, 2005 9:12:36 PM

Are you sure TPM is a liberal blog?

They get $30,000/month in ad revenue and still ask for donations...sounds more like a Republican blog to me.

Posted by: monkyboy | Apr 6, 2005 9:22:53 PM

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