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Breaking up Big Tech is a 19th-century competition solution to a 21st-century competition problem. There is a better way.
Helen Holmes (Instagram @TheOfficeMuse).
What should regulators do about the power of the big technology companies? In America, the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel have just completed a 16 month investigation into Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook, finding that “Big Tech” has “monopoly power” in key business segments and have “abused” their dominance in the marketplace, in a full-throated condemnation of the giants. The panel complains that there is “significant evidence” to show that BigTech’s anticompetitive conduct has hindered innovation, reduced consumer choice and even weakened democracy.
Breaking up big companies seems to me an already outdated industrial-age response in the post-industrial economy. Data is not the new oil.
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So, what is to be done? I had the honour of chairing Professor Scott Galloway who is the author of “The Four”, an excellent book about the power of internet giants (specifically Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – hence the title), at a conference in Washington a while back. He set out a convincing case for regulatory intervention to manage the power of these platform businesses. Just as the …
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