October 10, 2020
Hello and welcome to Pipeline. This week: "Triller money," Coinbase's blog-post based attrition, and why a recommendation in the antitrust report could threaten startup exits.
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It's been a big week for Big Tech. On Tuesday, Congress finally published the results of its over 15-month-long antitrust investigation into Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook. And unsurprisingly, the big headlines call for Big Tech to be broken up.
But there's also a lot that's relevant to startups and venture capital buried in the hundreds of pages — including a new recommendation that could potentially limit an "escape valve" for startups that want to exit to dominant companies.
The report is super skeptical that antitrust agencies can actually block anti-competitive mergers. A core theme from the subcommittee's findings is that the big companies "owe part of their dominance" to having bought other companies and eliminated competition along the way.
That's why the recommendations the subcommittee made are worth paying attention to, particularly for startups and venture capitalists.
The question is: Does creating a potentially greater barrier to acquisition help or hurt startups?
It's going to be a matter of finding balance, argues Switch Ventures' Paul Arnold.
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