tech giants two

The Tech Giants, two



equate notice (2) dominance
attract attention watchdog (2)
harm dwindle break up (3)
giant purpose explode (2)
e-book case (2) acquisition
ghost pull (2) consumer
avoid high-end hands-off
rival game (2) swallow (2)
worth regulator innovation
receive imagine profile (2)
let (2) dominate spend/spent/spent
illegal traffic (2) monopoly
except valuable competition
justice challenge justice department
decade hurt (2) computer operating system
timid share (4) enforcement
wage argue (2) dry spell (2)
decline startup behemoth
pursue point out resistance
fine (2) abuse (2) investigate
blame durable privacy (2)
jump aggressive






These are the five most valuable companies in America.

Notice anything?

They’re all tech companies.

And their dominance is attracting attention from watchdog groups that say their market power is harming competition and the economy.

Is it time to break up big tech?

To answer that, you have to understand how tech has exploded.

For our purposes, let’s imagine the top five tech giants as Pacman, or pac-companies. Except in this game, there’re no ghosts around to avoid: no Blinky, no Clyde. Those ghosts are US regulators.

For the past decade, the U.S. has been hands-off with big tech, letting them become even bigger by swallowing their smaller rivals or entering new markets.

Bloomberg data show that in the last ten years, the Big Five have made close to five-hundred (500) acquisitions, worth around a hundred-and-forty (140) billion dollars.

Because consumers like their products, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have developed huge market shares.

For example, Amazon receives ninety-three (93%) of all e-book sales. Google pulls in seventy-eight percent (78%) of internet search and spending in the U.S.

Similarly, Apple and Facebook dominate in high-end smartphones and social media traffic.

But being a monopoly isn’t illegal in the U.S. . . . or most other countries. Regulators stopped equating big with bad a long time ago. Monopoly cases brought by the U.S. have dwindled.

In fact, the last high-profile case was in 1998, when the justice department successfully challenged Microsoft’s dominance of computer operating systems.

And that twenty (20) year dry spell in monopoly cases has led some watchdogs to say that enforcement in the U.S. has become too timid.

They say big tech is hurting innovation, jobs and wages. And some even blame the behemoths for a decline in successful startups.

In Europe, America’s big tech companies have faced more resistance with governments more aggressively pursuing them.

For example, the E.U. has fined Google for abusing its market dominance and Germany is investigating Facebook for its privacy practices.

Of course, the big tech players don’t think they need to be broken up. They argue their dominance isn’t necessarily durable because new competitors can easily jump in.

As Google likes to point out, competition is just “one click away.”


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1. The most successful businesses in the United States are oil corporations. Is this true or false?

2. Do some or many experts believe that the Big Five tech companies are “too powerful”?

3. In general has the US Government heavily regulated tech companies?

4. What has been the business model or strategy of the Big Five?

5. Many people consider them monopolies. Is this right or wrong? Is this considered extremely bad, very bad, both good and bad, neither good nor bad, in the middle, good or very good?

6. Is there a difference in regulations and enforcement between the EU and the US?

7. Do the Big Five want to be divided?


A. My friends and I use Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. Yes or no?

B. Does your company or work compete with the Big Five? Does it depend on them?

C. I don’t trust the Big Five, or I like and admire them. Which is true?

D. What might happen in the future?

E. Should people and governments do anything?

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