Poll: Breaking Up the Big Boys Toys
“Which could be the first tech giant to be broken up by legislators?”
- 34% Amazon.
- 24% Facebook.
- 16%: None. Monopolies are Great!
- 13%: Google.
- 13%: Apple.
The FANG clan are accused of everything from predatory pricing to censorship and unethical surveillance. Amazon and Facebook are prime suspects in the view of our community, 84% expecting an antitrust breakthrough soon.
If you own Big Tech shares and your company is broken up by Congress, you’re automatically offered shares in the spin-off. Depending on how the government does the split, you may feel inclined to take those shares, or not. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!
A third of poll respondents reckon on Amazon being broken up first. It would be the biggest company to have its monopoly taken away since Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, having branched out big time into all the side hustles money can buy. It will soon control its entire e-commerce distribution, and its only defence is that its policies aren’t harming the average American. The e-commerce space is astronomically huge anyway.
Consumers have no choice but to buy Apple hardware if they want Apple software, and that won’t help in the consumer giant avoid scrutiny. Luckily, it will probably remain under the radar until it comes up with a second act to the iPhone.
Google could be seen as another bad apple. Its own employees are rising up against it as the search engine abuses its search monopoly, favouring Maps over Yelp and Youtube over Vimeo in its algorithm. That’s a company playing dirty. But interestingly, Invstr’s are more worried about Facebook!
Facebook enjoys a duopoly with Google on online ads and has fallen short of privacy standards multiple times. Mark Zuckerberg’s company has probably done more to fuel breakup talk in America than any of its peers, so don’t be surprised if a quarter of Invstrs are right in predicting government intervention.
If any of these four giants are to be split, shares would drop in the run-up to election night. Progressive Elizabeth Warren is fighting hard to make these ideas mainstream, so it’s safe to say she doesn’t have many capitalistic friends in Silicon Valley.
To that point, 2020’s presidential candidates are doing an awful lot of email marketing, and according to The Markup, Google Mail sent 0% of Elizabeth Warren’s emails into our ‘Primary’ inboxes. 85% were sent to ‘Promotions,’ and 15% to ‘Spam.’ That signals either the worst understanding of algorithms by a near front-running campaign in history or, something more sinister.
After all, a Big Tech breakup is not, according to our poll, unanimously supported. Competition is healthy for the consumer and the world. If Silicon Valley becomes fragmented, it must be for the benefit of the consumer. A sizable 16% of Invstr’s don’t see that being the case. Where do you stand?