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Tuesday, 5 March 2019

US regulators are considering cutting Big Tech down to size

It’s one of the perennial questions of our era: when it comes to companies, how big is too big? In the case of big tech companies, it’s a particularly thorny issue. Although Facebook, Amazon and Google may be “the big oil or railroad corporations of their day,” in order for the US to take antitrust action it would usually have to demonstrate that the consumer has been harmed in some way — usually by price increases. Still, anyone who has watched Facebook gobble up rivals must be tempted to sympathize with critics who argue that giant tech companies are in danger of undertaking some fairly anti-competitive practices, states this FT video (watch, runtime: 1:49). For that reason, measures are being put in place in the US for an entirely different approach to regulating the tech sector. The Federal Trade Commission is setting up a taskforce to examine antitrust issues, and even re-review agreements it previously approved. The ubiquitous nature of huge tech companies affects all of our lives. Watch this space.

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