Breaking up big tech | IN 60 SECONDS

Breaking up big tech | IN 60 SECONDS

August 15, 2019 10 By William Hollis


Democrats and Republicans alike have
jumped on the “break ’em up” bandwagon, embracing antitrust solutions to rein in
the behavior of technology giants. These would-be trust-busters claim that Big
Tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook crush startups and shut out
innovation. But do these activists need a reality check? For instance, Amazon
controls just 5% of the US retail market and Amazon also does exactly what
Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer want Corporate America
to do more of: foregoing stock buybacks to invest massively in R & D. And it’s not just
Amazon — the top five US corporate R & D investors are all Big Tech companies. But ask
yourself — would these companies spend nearly as much if they had to shut down or
split off as much as half of their business? And might banning new Big Tech
acquisitions deny a crucial off-ramp to those who invest early in promising
startups? With all public policy decisions, there are trade-offs and
unintended consequences to consider. When it comes to breaking up Big Tech,
we risk stifling America’s most innovative and promising sector. What do you think about breaking up Big Tech? Let us know in our poll. Also, let us know
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