The issue of breaking up Big Tech is a hot topic in Washington since Lina Khan, the Chair of U.S. Federal Trade Commission, has returned to prominence. This issue appears to be bipartisan. Both Republicans and Democrats are in favor of reducing monopolistic behavior within the tech industry. The reality is much more complex.
The House Judiciary Committee approved five bipartisan bills to force Amazon, Apple Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft to separate or leave their core businesses. One month later, Republican committee members introduced legislation that gives Americans legal recourse against Big Tech companies' online censorship. These more conservatively-oriented policy measures provide greater transparency about Big Tech's content moderation practices.
The ongoing battle between legislators over how to regulate Big Tech is unlikely to end soon. However, as the U.S. enters a new era in digital transformation that has been accelerated by the pandemics, Congress remains united in its belief that Big Techs power needs to be limited in order to protect the free market.
Small competitors and consumers have no choice but to be tied to Big Tech in order to take part in the modern economic engine. The five largest tech companies are expanding at a rate never seen before in the history capitalism.
Big Tech companies strongly oppose regulation that would cause them to lose their business operations. Reform would lead to loss of research and development and impractical market fragmentation, as well as higher costs for consumers.
According to a survey by a trade group representing the tech industry, Americans consider tech regulation to be a low priority issue for Congress. The top priorities for Americans were infrastructure, public health and climate change, as well as the economy. It was also found that Americans are more likely than others to oppose regulation if it would affect Amazon Prime's free shipping.
This poll and bipartisan sentiment among elected officials may indicate that society is becoming more aware of its dependence on tech giants after COVID-19. American workers have been adapting to remote work for the past 18 months. Big Tech companies offer programs that allow them to communicate with their colleagues, run businesses, and purchase groceries and other essentials. This dynamic is unlikely to change as many companies have already announced that they are moving to a hybrid or fully remote work environment.
This topic is of great interest to professionals in the tech industry, startups, and small business. Fishbowl decided to ask tech professionals, many of whom are in the industry, about dismantling tech giants. Fishbowl is a professional social network, so surveys on workplace topics and this are a natural fit.
To find out how field employees feel about antitrust laws, the survey was conducted from July 26 to 30, 2021. Respondents were asked: Do you think antitrust legislation should be used for the dissolution of Big Tech companies such as Amazon and Google?
The survey was completed by 11,579 verified professionals using the Fishbowl app. They were then given the opportunity to choose whether they wanted to answer yes or not. The survey was divided into professional and state industries, such as finance, law, consulting, marketing, law, and accounting.
Here's what the survey revealed
The majority (6,920) of the 11,579 professionals (59.76%) answered the survey question.
We found that 66.67% of respondents to the survey were law professionals. With 61.97%, consulting professionals came in second with 60.64%. Tech (60.03%) was slightly ahead of finance (60.64%). Teachers had 53.49%, while finance (60.64%) was second with 61.97%. Accounting (58.51%), human resources (55.65%), and other professional industries (50.81%) were the next closest.
Survey data was collected from professionals across 25 U.S. States. Colorado had 76.83% of the highest number of respondents. Washington came in second with 73.17%. Michigan was third with 69.70%. Missouri (51.3%) was the state with the lowest number of employees who said yes to Big Tech being split up. Indiana (52.59%), and Massachusetts (52.83% were close behind. The majority of states that participated in the survey agreed with the conclusion that antitrust legislation should be used to break up Big Tech companies.
The fourth highest percentage of professionals agreed that Big Tech companies should not be saved was in Tech. Breaking up Big Tech companies can provide more opportunities for entrepreneurs and tech professionals. This could allow them to launch new products, programs, or services. This could create more skilled jobs. It can also reduce national security and data privacy concerns. However, there are some downsides to breaking up Big Tech companies. These companies often provide significant funding for research and development, including autonomous vehicles, robotics and wearables. The end result is that Big Tech companies being broken up can increase the service costs of professionals and the general public.
The White House is making moves as policymakers continue to discuss how to dismantle Big Tech. The FTC chair was recently appointed by President Joe Biden to be Khan, a Columbia Law School professor. Khan is a staunch opponent of Big Tech. Her main goal is to protect the public against corporate abuse and ensure that merger guidelines reflect economic realities as well as empirical learning and enforcement. She reviews mergers with skepticism.
In July, Biden declared his intention to nominate Jonathan Kanter as the chief of the Justice Departments Antitrust Division. Kanter, an antitrust lawyer who has more than 20 years experience and is a leading advocate for strong antitrust enforcement and competition policies.
These additional members will likely lead to an aggressive approach to enforcement of antitrust laws across industries. It is up to Congress to make sure things move forward differently.