News » Consumers Might Balk if Antitrust Takes Aim at Big Tech

Consumers Might Balk if Antitrust Takes Aim at Big Tech

Montreal,Quebec,Canada-june 14,2012:Apple computers logo on facade window of Apple store in Montreal Canada.

May 29, 2019

The five most valuable companies in the U.S. –  Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook – are all in the tech sector, and there seems to be a consensus in the making that Big Tech needs to be downsized. Congressional Democrats are committed to pushing for stringent antitrust enforcement. Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren is on record as calling for the dismantling of at least some of the companies. All the Democratic candidates for president are in favor of more stringent regulation, and some Republicans including Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley aren’t adverse to the concept. The issue is complicated by two factors: The five companies that make up Big Tech are structured in very different ways; The antitrust laws are old, broadly worded, and since the 1980s have been interpreted as mainly concerned about high prices, which are not a major issue in respect to the Big Five. The ideas that have gained some political traction, for example reviving old laws aimed at curbing “predatory pricing,” would impact a much larger range of companies than Big Tech, and according to an article in Vox, “the political promise to stand up to nefarious special interests sounds good, but a promise to take on companies that are offering great bargains is a much dicier proposition.”

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