Barron’s quotes RBC Capital internet analyst Mark Mahaney’s comments on the Justice Department and 11 state attorneys general’s long-expected antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet, alleging that Google has engaged in anticompetitive activity:

At the heart of Mahaney’s problem with the report is a stark disagreement on whether these companies are a force for good or fundamentally evil. The legislators vote “evil.” They wrote: “Companies that once were scrappy, underdog start-ups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” referring to evil capitalists of yore.

Mahaney doesn’t deny there are legitimate reasons to ask if the megatechs have periodically abused their power. But on balance he thinks they are a positive force, benefiting workers, consumers, shareholders, and the economy. “To not provide a modest elaboration of those benefits—to at least be open to the idea that regulatory action, if not tailored well, could undermine what have been, and continue to be, enormous societal benefits in the United States—seems to us to be risky,” he writes.

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