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Should we break up the Big Tech companies? Show more Show less
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Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and others are now some of the largest and most powerful corporations in world history. Their reach is global, their resources and power eclipsing all but the largest nations. With their monopolies on entire market sectors and their political impact, has Big Tech become detrimental to the public good?

The Big Tech companies need to be broken up Show more Show less

The Big Tech companies have built monopolies in their markets via underhand, anti-competitive practices. They cannot be trusted to protect sensitive data.
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Big Tech stops other companies from competing

Big Tech has destroyed the level playing field and made it practically impossible for competitors to enter the market.
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The Argument

Rather than competing fairly with other firms on the basis of product quality, the Big Tech companies have used specific tactics to ensure that they remain dominant. These anticompetitive practices violate antitrust laws and have only been permitted due to weak enforcement of antitrust laws. The 2020 presidential campaign of Elizabeth Warren identified two major strategies employed by Amazon, Facebook, and Google to limit competition: mergers and the creation of proprietary marketplaces. Mergers limit competition by consolidating market power under the umbrellas of the Big Tech companies whenever disruptive competitors appear. Facebook's purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp and Google's purchases of Waze and DoubleClick are examples of the merger strategy. In each case, instead of trying to compete with the product offerings of the smaller companies, Facebook and Google simply bought them out and integrated their services into their own platforms before the smaller companies could attain sufficient scale to threaten Big Tech's dominant position. Proprietary marketplaces allow Big Tech to undermine smaller businesses by compelling those businesses to compete in a marketplace where Big Tech has unfair advantages. Amazon opened an online retail marketplace on which other companies could sell goods, positioning Amazon's marketplace service as the avenue through which many different businesses could compete, but then used the data provided by their marketplace to promote Amazon-branded or endorsed products on that same market. By acting both as the operator of the marketplace and as the favored competitor in the marketplace, Big Tech prevents true competition.

Counter arguments

Premises

[P1] Big Tech companies employ specific strategies to ensure that any competition is squashed or absorbed. [P2] This creates an unfair marketplace, so these companies should be prevented from doing this.

Rejecting the premises

References

This page was last edited on Thursday, 16 Jul 2020 at 17:42 UTC

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