America’s big tech companies have created monopolies that only benefit themselves and consequently need to be broken up, argues Robert Reich of The Guardian. Just like in the Gilded Age, in the late 19th century, when railroad, oil and steel companies became so big they had to be split up, we are in a time of monopolies. Amazon, Google and Facebook have been shown to stifle innovation to give themselves more power. It has become clear that these tech giants do not act in the public interest, but solely in their own. This is dangerous, as they have acquired incredible power to shift elections, shape policies and gather unprecedented amounts of user data.
While big tech companies have acted in bad ways and need to be reeled in, breaking them up is not the right solution, holds Raghuram Rajan of Barron’s. Several of these companies’ products depend on their size. Facebook loses its appeal without connecting the whole world. Google’s Waze, a navigation app, is so effective because it shows drivers the best roads based on the data of other drivers. Breaking these companies up would absolutely not benefit consumers. We need to change the way our data is managed. Regulations can be put into place to even the playing field, but simply breaking up big tech companies would be a major mistake.