It is time to use antitrust again. We should break up the hi-tech behemoths, or at least require they make their proprietary technology and data publicly available and share their platforms with smaller competitors.
Robert Reich is right; there are companies that have far too much influence, and they need to be broken up. Google and Facebook are dangerous for democracy, and dominate online advertising, and Amazon is dangerous for retail.
Facebook and Google dominate advertising. They’re the first stops for many Americans seeking news. Apple dominates smartphones and laptop computers. Amazon is now the first stop for a third of all American consumers seeking to buy anything.
However, Mr. Reich is wrong; Apple does not dominate smartphones and laptops, at least not in the entire world. They are first in the US, but with around 40%; that’s not anti-trust level domination. Worldwide, however, Apple’s market share is around 12%, and Samsung is in the lead at around 20%. Apple does dominate the high end of the smartphone sector though.
As much as I use Amazon for practicality – I live in a rural area near a town of around 25,000 people, so local shopping opportunities are limited – I do understand that they are killing off retail.
In the second Gilded Age as in the first, giant firms at the center of the American economy are distorting the market and our politics.
We must resurrect antitrust.
It’s worth noting that Tim Cook recently said in an interview that regulation of these firms will be necessary; he knows it is coming, and is planning for it, whereas Facebook and Google are just playing coy and fighting it. Apple will come out well with this approach.