Would it really be a good idea to break up big tech?

World

Would it really be a good idea to break up big tech?

It is becoming increasingly common in Silicon Valley to wear the monopoly tag with pride

James Titcomb

For years, the big internet companies have employed a simple argument to brush off fears that their growing influence and position in our daily lives amount to monopoly.

Because their services are online and provided for free, they say, their dominant market shares cannot be compared to those enjoyed by railroad or oil giants of decades past. Unlike tycoons such as John Rockefeller or Andrew Carnegie, the new barons – Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Larry Page – are successful not because there are no alternatives, but merely because consumers choose them over the many alternatives.

Google’s defence of its near-total control over the market for search engines has long been that “competition is just a click away”. Nine in 10 searches may take place on its search engine, but there is nothing stopping consumers from using Bing, Yahoo or a number of smaller competitors...

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