Should we fear Big Tech?

Not long ago, Americans were afraid of Big Oil. Then it was Big Banks. Now Big Tech is coming under attack. There is a growing sense that something should be done about the growth, largely unchecked, of tech giants and the impact they are having on the economy, employment, privacy, news (fake and real) and income inequality. The problem is, nobody knows what action should be taken. Breaking them up is a popular answer, but the Federal Trade Commission says it enforces the nation’s antitrust laws “for the benefit of consumers,” not competitors, employees or society. The goal is better products and services at lower prices. It’s hard to show how consumers are harmed when Google and Facebook charge them nothing or when Amazon.com delivers products faster and at lower prices than competitors. “The reason Amazon is pushing companies out of business is because people love it,” said Doug Melamed, a professor at Stanford Law School. “Antitrust (regulation) is going to applaud that. They built a better mousetrap.” Not everyone agrees. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Booker, D-N.J. — possible presidential contenders in 2020 — have been calling on Congress and regulators to rein in Big Tech. Today Apple,…


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