The Case Against Breaking Up Big Tech Companies

This week The Street ran a new article arguing that “Breaking Up Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook Is Not the Solution”:

The Microsoft anti-trust case twenty years ago showed that judges are reluctant to break up companies even when there are definite signs of market abuse… Technology is a better solution to create competition. Things such as open-source software have made a difference in breaking through technology monopolies. And the third reason is that there are perverse incentives on Wall Street that will always reward winner-take-all scenarios such as that of Amazon, even if they mean massive financial losses for years. An attempt to break up companies or unwind mergers won’t cure that impulse on Wall Street that pushes companies to “go big or go home.”

Meanwhile, the associate technology editor at Barron’s argues that breaking up companies like Google and Facebook “wonâ(TM)t solve the real issues facing tech,” arguing that surveillance capitalism “is not an antitrust issue” and that “bigness alone is not a sin.”

Microsoft is the reigning market-cap champ, and it has been left out of the discussion this time. By revenues, all four [Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon] pale next to Walmart , but no one wants to break it up. Exxon Mobil has more revenue than the tech giants — should we break it up? Some of the big-is-bad sentiment reflects societal resistance to change (ah, the good old days) — and a “revenge of the losers” response from those getting disrupted by digitization.

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