The House Judiciary Committee has released its report on Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple, and they say the companies are monopolies and need to be broken up.
“To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the 449-page report explains. “Although these firms have delivered clear benefits to society, the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google has come at a price. These firms typically run the marketplace while also competing in it—a position that enables them to write one set of rules for others, while they play by another, or to engage in a form of their own private quasiregulation that is unaccountable to anyone but themselves.”
Why do we care?
A reminder, these companies represent over one-third of the entire value of the S&P 100. ONE THIRD. When I reference the stock market not reflecting the economy, this is a major data point.
This is the biggest movement on anti-trust in technology since Microsoft, and it will have significant implications. We don’t know which of the recommendations will be implemented, but they are sweeping and significant to the view of anti-trust in the US.
So we care for two reasons. First, we care to watch the outcomes. I don’t expect to see much at the federal level this calendar year, but once we know the election results, we can start making predictions.
Second, and short-term, the techlash is real. Consumers are a lot less trustful of technology and less enamored with the market. If you preach being the “trusted advisor”… know that trust is harder to get AND more valuable when you hold it. Be diligent with that resource.