Breaking up Big Tech – Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook – and in focus as new U.S. antitrust bills introduced

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced four antitrust bills on Friday aimed at reining in the power of the tech giants, with one potentially leading to their break-up.

Breaking up Big Tech - Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook - and in focus as new U.S. antitrust bills introduced. Image: U.S. Capitol Building
The United States Capitol Building

Diane Bartz for Reuters:

Two of the bills address the issue of giant companies, such as Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, creating a platform for other businesses and then competing against those same businesses.

One measure bans platforms from owning subsidiaries that operate on their platform if those subsidiaries compete with other businesses – potentially forcing the Big Tech firms to sell assets.

A second measure would make it illegal in most cases for a platform to give preference to its own products on its platform with a hefty fine of 30% of the U.S. revenue of the affected business if they violate the measure.

The third bill would require a platform to refrain from any merger unless it can show the acquired company does not compete with any product or service the platform is in.

A fourth would require platforms to allow users to transfer their data elsewhere if they desire, including to a competing business.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, as per “Big Tech,” Apple should not be lumped into antitrust bills with the likes of Alphabet/Google which actually does have a monopoly (which is legal, by the way) and is very likely abusing it (which is subject to any antitrust reform remedies).

The fact is that Apple has no monopoly in smartphones, or in any other market, so Apple is incapable of committing monopoly abuse.

Worldwide smartphone OS market share, May 2021:

• Android: 72.72%
• iOS: 26.46%

Worldwide desktop OS market share, May 2021:

• Windows: 73.54%
• macOS: 15.87%

I don’t think anybody reasonable is going to come to the conclusion that Apple is a monopoly. Our share is much more modest. We don’t have a dominant position in any market… We are not a monopoly.Apple CEO Tim Cook, June 2019

Google breakup. Image: Google logoAs for Google, the biggest offender in “Big Tech,” impose any remedies that restore competition to online search and online advertising.

If you haven’t already, give DuckDuckGo a try! https://duckduckgo.com

With this unprecedented power, platforms have the ability to redirect into their pockets the advertising dollars that once went to newspapers and magazines. No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t.MacDailyNews, November 9, 2017

We’d like to see real competition in the online search and advertising markets restored someday.MacDailyNews, March 20, 2019


Interns, TTK! Prost, everyone! 🍻

55 Comments

  1. These will go nowhere. Its just a side show for the democrats and a few republicans. democrats like their liberal tech giants way too much to do any actual harm

  2. I don’t think the politicians look at it as iOS vs Android or MacOS vs Windows, but as Apple vs all of the different companies in software, hardware and services. How about a list of percentages in those categories in that respect?

        1. No. They are largely interoperable. They ride on common roads, burn common fuels, get all the radio stations, anyone who wishes can make tires and spare parts (patents permitting). They have a common infrastructure. Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS each require their own common infrastructures.

          1. Correct response, but unfortunately waste of time.

            TxUseless is playing with himself in the bathroom again with irrelevant red herrings because he cannot face the truth and has nothing MEANINGFUL to add.

            Nuff said…

            1. TxUseless you are certainly a waste of time. Because you have a reading comprehension problem I’ll waste another minute to inform you.

              I posted today at 2:46 PM: “Distinct markets spawn distinct monopolies and Apple is not one of them.”

              Apple is not a monopoly, got it brainless? Obvious you can’t keep up and read thoroughly before you recklessly spout off…

            2. TxUseless, tell the rest of the class why you are so arrogant and stupid at the same time demanding answers when the evidence is right in front of your eyes?

              AC has his opinion and I have mine. If they do match 100%, something you are incapable of, I respect DIFFERENCES…

      1. Agreed.

        Distinct markets spawn distinct monopolies and Apple is not one of them. Certainly there are small bit players involved, but that is not the totality of the issue. Digital customer abuse by the big players defines the issue and without regulation Big Tech is simply out of control for years.

        They can censor at will in a nanosecond any right leaning post on all of social media. Not that it bothers you, but hiding behind a nebulous customer terms of service agreement that is a total joke and get away with it. Worse, they enjoy the legal protections of Section 230 afforded no other business in the USA to shield them from lawsuits. This is just wrong on so many levels.

        Equal scrutiny and justice for ALL!

        “Republicans: Break Up Big Tech After Facebook Board Upholds Trump Ban

        Democrats cheer board’s decision, call for ban to be made permanent

        Congressional Republicans on May 5, upset with the decision by Facebook’s Oversight Board to uphold the company’s ban of former President Donald Trump, said they’d work to curb the technology giant’s power.

        “Break them up,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said in reaction to the decision.
        Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said the decision was “a real-life example of the tyranny of Big Tech” before echoing Jordan.

        Republicans have increasingly turned critical of technology giants such as Facebook as more evidence emerges showing bias against conservatives.”

        — Recommended reading full story The Epoch Times, May 5

        That puts you in a tough spot friend. The Democrats only mouth the words and will not follow through. 95% of Big Tech contributions to the 2020 presidential election went to Democrats. It amuses me when Leftists here still cry about Russian Collusion in the 2016 election when ZERO EVIDENCE was found to change ONE VOTE.

        That aside, Republicans are serious and as usual Democrats are only playing word games. So, you may have to bite the bullet and support what is right regardless of party beliefs.

        Personally speaking, doubt you are up to the task, sorry…

        1. Big Tech obviously can’t “censor all right-leaning posts in all of social media.” Dozens of posts on this site just within the last day prove otherwise. So does the existence of hundreds of other right-leaning media outlets, from Alex Jones to some of the most popular cable channels, to most of the most popular radio shows and podcasts. None of those outlets feature content that is not right-leaning, so why do you not accuse them of censorship? The answer, of course, is that you are convinced that only right-leaning speech should be permitted, so asking the government to suppress liberal outlets is a public service, not a violation of the First Amendment.

          1. “Big Tech obviously can’t “censor all right-leaning posts in all of social media.””

            I never said that, you did. Big Tech has ultimate power and control over their domains and they can do anything they want, maybe possible with algorithms, but not what I posted.

            Section 230 gives Big Tech legal protections and IMPUNITY for egregious censorship TARGETING conservatives. While at the same time giving a free pass to Leftist HATE speech heard around the world.

            Please tell the class why you have NOT spoken out against conservative free speech CENSORSHIP VIOLATING the First Amendment. Also, why you have posted repeatedly SUPPORT for Section 230 shielding Big Tech ABUSE from lawsuits and liability.

            Whenever you are ready.

            “you are convinced that only right-leaning speech should be permitted, so asking the government to suppress liberal outlets is a public service, not a violation of the First Amendment.”

            Where in your partisan pea brain did you concoct a bald faced EPIC LIE?!?!? Drunk or high, I can almost buy that excuse.

            You have no CREDIBILITY and struggle daily to prove yourself relevant. Unfortunately, you never listened to your momma lies and deception are just WRONG and won’t convince an honest person. But then again, when are Leftist Democrats like yourself concerned with HONESTY… 🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻

            1. Please tell the class why you have NOT spoken out against conservative free speech CENSORSHIP VIOLATING the First Amendment.

              Because I am unaware of any cases where that has happened. Please point out any US case in this century in which a government or government agent has censored conservatives. That is what the First Amendment prohibits. It does not prevent Facebook (or Fox News or Alex Jones) from refusing to facilitate speech which they believe to be untrue. For the government to force a private citizen to spread a message with which they disagree would violate their First Amendment rights.

              It is hardly a “a bald faced EPIC LIE!!!” to point out that you have been advocating exactly that for years on this forum. You want Congress, the President, or the Courts (i.e., the Government) to tell Facebook and Twitter that they must promote conservative speech with their nongovernmental resources. You want government action to ensure that conservatives not only have unrestricted access to conservative media outlets (which suppress liberals), but also to nonconservative media outlets (which would be forbidden to suppress any statement, no matter how untrue or dangerous, from anyone who calls himself conservative).

              If that is not what you are asking for, please explain what it is that you are asking for.

            2. “Because I am unaware of any cases where that has happened. Please point out any US case in this century in which a government or government agent has censored conservatives.”

              TxDEFLECTOR, not what I said or talking about.

              I’m talking about Big Tech 100% BAN on President Trump the GOLD STANDARD example of CENSORSHIP. New York Post censored and taken down for reporting on the Bidens at election time, too many conservative groups and commentators posts censored and removed DAILY too numerous to mention.

              I see you strongly support CENSORSHIP of conservative voices by Big Tech on a whim using the one-sided Leftist playbook what they believe to be true, Leftist Big Media and Leftist opinion websites and not calling for reforms.

              I see you strongly support HATE SPEECH by the Leftists and Anarchists and not ONCE calling for them to be taken down and not calling for reforms.

              I see you strongly support Section 230 giving all Big Tech companies IMMUNITY from lawsuits for CENSORSHIP of conservatives and no legal recourse for them to sue, legally protecting selective censorship and not calling for reforms.

              I see you strongly support Big Tech social media monopoly abuse at will that HURTS Republicans daily and HELPS Democrats on most ISSUES and not calling for reforms.

              I see you strongly support the status quo of Big Tech overall, business as usual since the 1990s and not calling for reforms of any kind that is long overdue…

            3. Thank you for illustrating my point. You oppose the freedom of print and online media companies to control their own content. I don’t. You see your position as consistent with the First Amendment. I don’t. We are never going to agree because you refuse to read what the Constitution actually says, which is that legislation and litigation that infringe freedom of expression by individuals and the press is strictly prohibited. I will never, never, agree with your position that it somehow violates the First Amendment for a private party to refuse to promote third-party content that the private party regards as untrue and dangerous.

    1. So, I guess Apple’s HUGE teamS of EXPENSIVE and EXPERIENCED lawyerS who have SPECIALIZED in these requests for YEARS and YEARS found the DOJ’s subpoena to be legit. Or maybe a first year Apple intern in a cubicle somewhere off campus just accidentally prepared the requested data and accidentally gave it to the DOJ. Hmmm… I wonder which is more likely? Regardless, we all know it is ultimately Trump’s fault. Until we find out that it wasn’t.

      1. The Apple legal department was presented with a facially valid court order that required them to turn over the data and prohibited them from making the request public or notifying the owners of the data. The question was not whether the subpoena was legal, but whether it was an authoritarian move by someone using government powers to achieve political ends. There wasn’t much Apple could do about that without violating the nondisclosure order.

    2. The Verge sensationalized this by suggesting Apple ‘rubber stamped’ compliance with a legal order. Not a moral order, or a justified order, but a legal order. When you get pulled over for speeding, do you ‘rubber stamp’ compliance by pulling over? I call Verge bs.

  3. It’s likely only Apple will be hurt financially by this. Those other companies spend plenty of money on lobbying so they probably will get some protection from groups. Yeah, Apple doesn’t have a dominant position in any market. So what? That’s nothing to boast about after all the years Apple has been around. It just means Apple will be an easier target to take down. Whenever the crap hits the fan, the news media always has to mention Apple as being the worst of the bunch because it will get the most eyeballs. Whatever happens, happens. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Apple will simply raise its prices to make up for any internal financial losses.

      1. Are democrats not Americans?
        Who defines Americans, the law or you?
        If it’s you then you’re and ant-American actor and should be flushed.
        I will leave the trailing expletive to you and the reader.

        1. You cannot be an American when your goal is destroy the country. Sad that you are so stupid that this needs to be explained to you, but I guess that’s why you are a Dumocrat.

          1. Actually, “American” is defined by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America and by statutes enacted to implement it. You don’t get to define it as “anybody whose politics I like.” If you can do that, then there is no point in holding elections because anybody who disagrees with you is by definition unqualified to vote. Hence, Trump won by a landslide because all the votes for other candidates were cast by UnAmericans. If the results appear to show that he lost, the count is obviously invalid and we need to conduct a purge so that only those with the right views get to vote. Perhaps they could identify themselves by wearing brown shirts.

            It is a shame that most Americans do not study history. If we did, more of us might see the remarkable parallels in both rhetoric and policy between the efforts to shut down political opposition now and the (largely successful) efforts in the 1890s to do the same thing, or the parallels between the pro-fascist “America First” movement in the 1930s and developments in our time.

            1. Wow “…efforts to shut down political opposition…” Projection at its finest and too stupid and gullible to see it.

              The next civil war will be fought between American and democrats.

            2. Libtuds have redefined racist, gender, illegal alien, drug dealer and dozens of other words/terms.

              Americans are taking the word, American, as well as our country back. Bank on it.

            3. @dd

              I would sooner let the American Indians have it back than the likes of you. America is defined by the Constitution, not you jackass.

            4. applecynic, nobody with a brain gives a flying fuck what you want.

              Gun in the 14th Amendment? Stupid, stupid libturd. If you knew anything about the Constitution you would not be a libturd.

            1. Are there not a disproportionate amount of dictatorships in South America in recent decades?

              But leave it to a Banana Republican to make this racial. It’s political numbskull.

  4. As I suggested on another thread, dd, you have a blueprint for that already. Read Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy, by David Zucchino, which won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. A minority faction in North Caroline conducted a violent insurrection, threw the lawful but “unqualified” elected officials and voters out of politics, and put themselves and their fellow travelers “back in the majority” of much of the country for the next sixty-odd years… at which point they changed parties and have remained in control for fifty years more. If you can’t read the book, look up “Wilmington Insurrection” in a search engine. Tells you all you need to know about successfully overthrowing the Constitution.

      1. I get this “stupidity” from the provisions of the Constitution and the relevant Federal implementing legislation that provide that each state (plus DC) selects presidential electors according to its own laws, the electors meet in the state capitals to vote, the governors conclusively certify the results, and the ballots are opened and counted by the President of the Senate before a joint session of Congress. Not a word in there about Texas being able to contest an election in Pennsylvania, the Federal Courts being able to reverse a state Supreme Court’s construal of its own state constitution, or Congress being able to substitute its judgment for that of the state officials who certified the electoral college votes. The attempts to do each of those things were attempts to overthrow the Constitution. The actions of the mob that attempted to intimidate the Vice President and Congress into violating their clear ministerial duty to just count the ballots were an insurrection against constitutional order.

  5. Again, as per “Usual,” Mac daily snooze can’t even get a headline right? It’s big and black and bold and you can’t read it? What the fcuk is wrong with you? Try reading the hardline out loud?! Now, it’s time to stop and close this painful site down end delete your 1 star app.

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