Breaking Up Big Tech Brit Style

By on March 14, 2019

March 14, 2019

Using antitrust law to rein in the tech giants is the cornerstone of Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy, but a review written for the UK by a panel led by Jason Furman, who used to advise former President Obama, proposes a different way to achieve roughly the same goal. It acknowledges the problematic situation in which Facebook, Apple and Google between them control more than 90 percent of online searches, mobile operating systems and social media markets. These companies have such control over users’ information, that it’s next to impossible to launch competitor search engines or app stores. The panel proposes giving users the right to transfer their data to competing services. It also recommends opening up the basic technical standards used by such services so that they can “talk” to each other. Competitors of Google Maps, for instance, could then use the search giant’s vast horde of location data to recommend routes. Open standards allow new companies to tap into these so-called network effects.
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