Should tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google be broken up?

Uber Pu6QS7
Jul 31 294 Comments

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/us/politics/big-tech-democratic-candidates.html

"Both parties have become increasingly concerned about Silicon Valley’s immense influence over government and the economy, and Elizabeth Warren jump-started a debate among Democrats by proposing to break up Facebook, Google and Amazon. Some Democrats agreed with her, while others — including Kamala Harris and Seth Moulton — urged different kinds of regulation."

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TOP 294 Comments
  • Amazon copejnx
    whichever option gets higher pay
    Jul 31 10
    • Google gcloud
      How are you gonna solve all those 1/0 knapsacks??
      Jul 31
    • Northrop Grumman HowCouldYu
      @intuit I don’t believe you
      Jul 31
    • Oracle helloxyz
      hell yeah
      Jul 31
    • Intuit t8n1xm
      No longer at Intuit. 4 YOE
      Jul 31
    • Yes, breaking them up is better for the profitable divisions of those companies.
      Aug 1
  • Facebook Ladee
    Only if you want to see Chinese companies that are equally as large but government funded jump in and steal number 1. Only if you want to see people’s 401ks and major indices get rocked (because the indices are so big tech heavy nowadays). If you want to fuck the US’ competitive advantage then sure.
    Jul 31 11
    • Google Jeremey
      Yes the economics of internet platform companies is one of network effects. If the US giants are broken up, the network effects of the Chinese giants will eventually win. And don’t forget the communist dictator party has an entire department in each major Chinese corporation.
      Jul 31
    • Microsoft fx123
      Give up everything just to stay on top, not saying we should or shouldn't break up
      Jul 31
    • Microsoft bebK16
      @Aaadd, the election hasn't started yet. Just as the GOP trots out it's crazies during primary season (Bachman, Santorum, etc), so is the DNC. Of course one of the GOP crazies won it all last time, so it's no longer a safe bet to assume a moderate will get the nomination.
      Jul 31
    • SolarWinds AnEngineer
      Most previous breakups were more successful apart. History is your friend.
      Jul 31
    • UJET Timid
      Although if you look at what happened to the baby bells post breakup you can argue that a breakup would spur competition and increase the rate of American innovation
      Jul 31
  • Microsoft 🌲fiddy
    Yes. Leave Microsoft alone though.
    Jul 31 5
    • LinkedIn SFBASV2
      Ha!
      Jul 31
    • Symantec mbzY27
      Like it’s a Zune
      Jul 31
    • Microsoft rfrw82
      Sure mbz. Whatever works
      Jul 31
    • Lyft yKSs68
      No they’ll break you up into Micro and Soft
      Aug 1
    • Amazon teardrop.c
      He will end up in soft.
      Aug 1
  • Google ECyG30
    Yes, break all big companies. When they are too big and powerful then they start conflicting with average citizen interest. Like monopoly, lobby, etc.
    In Europe we block acquisitions and break companies if needed.

    Just look at costs of healthcare, education, military spending or gun laws. All caused by lobbyists. People live way better in other countries with way lower GDP per capita and without these big companies.
    Jul 31 21
    • NASA flatearth
      @hodlbtc
      How can you say that mental health isn't a consideration when an overwhelming majority of mass shootings are perpetrated by individuals who would outright fail psych screenings?

      Hell, 2 of the 3 examples you provided were textbook cases with demonstrable psychological instability, and I'd stake money that Steve paddock definitely had some undiagnosed mental condition that would have shown up were a screening performed (his own brother called him paranoid and delusional).

      Note that a per capita survey scales with population, and that in a populous country such as the US it is possible to have average rates while also having some of the largest numbers of mentally ill patients. Further, given how lackadaisical mental health care is, it wouldn't surprise me if those per capita rates are low relative to the undiagnosed population. So that leads me back to supporting measures to improve mental healthcare

      I think we are actually on the same page with gun control, again I support REASONABLE measures (background + psych checks) that actually target the problem. It's just that I feel we as a nation focus far too much on the guns themselves rather than the people who end up using them. Were screenings performed, a lot of those legal sales would not have been permitted.
      Jul 31
    • Uber kinh
      Replace guns with nukes and see how fucking dumb the 2nd amendment is.
      Jul 31
    • NASA flatearth
      I think what's dumb is that everyone just wants to hear their own views re-affirmed without actually being willing to discuss anything...
      Jul 31
    • Expedia Group vacations
      You're all forgetting the fact that this is all a game put on by the federal reserve to divert your attention from the fact that they are rapidly and artificially inflating the money supply at the expense of the average citizen to deepen the grip of the illuminati on the global economy and devalue the currency, thereby diminishing the buying power of the working class. Buy bitcoin, that is all
      Jul 31
    • Genomic Health ExCOG
      Agree. When companies get too big, they have their own interests.
      Jul 31
  • Flowcast lulll
    Worst idea I’ve ever seen. If the clown d’s stopped to think who is funding their dumb ideas then they wouldnt assassinate the golden geese.
    Jul 31 8
    • eBay mDBW53
      It is actually closer to 0.1%. Also 23AndMe can’t read numbers that small. She used a real person.
      Jul 31
    • Apple Snut Ella
      You do realize that google employees give more to Warren than any other candidate?
      Jul 31
    • eBay mDBW53
      It is an insurance policy. If you donate to a Republican you’ll get fired if you are a C-level employee due to social media backlash. But if you give the max to Warren and later make a mistake just show you are one of the good guys and move on with your life. This is why I donated the minimum required to report to Clinton in 2016 but voted Trump in secret.
      Jul 31
    • Goldman Sachs pssS53
      "Funding their dumb ideas"? Amazon paid 0 in federal taxes
      Jul 31
    • Amazon pays a ton through income taxes of their employees, and various tariffs and VAT.
      Jul 31
  • Amazon aspie
    It’s very bad when politicians begin to fuck with the free market. The market will always, always regulate itself. Can’t say the same about politics
    Jul 31 8
    • Google ECyG30
      @johnyquest totally right
      Jul 31
    • Uber NxmU81
      "Free market" doesn't exist buddy. It's a figment of your imagination. Almost like how "real Communism" hasn't been achieved, neither will a free market.
      Jul 31
    • Oracle tMVL63
      The market will always regulate itself? What kind of idiots do you think we are??
      Jul 31
    • What’s nonsense. I believe in the free markets too. One of the core tenants of free-market capitalism is to promote competition. If some company gets into monopolistic position (like AT&T-Bell labs and Microsoft did) the govt needs to intervene to promote competition.
      Jul 31
    • Coinbase g6783
      If the government had not broken up Ma Bell, the telecom industry would likely not be where it is today, in innovation or in cost. There was a time when it cost $20 for a 40 minute phone call to a location 13 miles away. That is what happens when there is a monopoly. There was no competition. It stifled all commerce because of the high cost to communicate across distances. Government intervention was the best thing that could have happened.
      Jul 31
  • Amazon aspie
    They should start with their own big parties. Two parties? Other countries have tens!
    Jul 31 5
    • Facebook JarJarBunk
      This. Enough of the two party puppet show.
      Jul 31
    • Microsoft bKFl33
      Good one! My country had 14 in the Parliament at some point
      Jul 31
    • Yelp sJJv80
      Not possible without a constitutional amendment, I’m afraid. First past the post voting is enshrined in the Constitution, and that’s what will cause any multiparty system to devolve into 2 parties within a very short time.
      Jul 31
    • Amazon aspie
      There will be more candidates to choose from though. Even if they have only two big camps, there still will be a room for leaders of smaller parties to get visibility and get to talk to voters. Right now it’s only children of other presidents and their wives.This is aristocracy- not meritocracy! And aristocrats will always pull all the stings to squish the meritocracy. This is what the crap about breaking down successful companies is all about.
      Jul 31
    • Yelp sJJv80
      No, you don’t get it. You need a majority of electoral votes to win the presidency, otherwise a runoff between the top two kicks in. The way to maximize your party’s chances of getting a majority is for there to be exactly one opposition party. This argument works for every single party, leading to the Nash equilibrium of there being exactly 2 parties that matter.

      Third parties are allowed in the US, but they don’t succeed for this reason. Your vote for anyone but the major party candidates is wasted because no third party will ever get 50% of the electoral votes to put their candidate in the big chair.

      Lots of state s d local elections work the same way.
      Jul 31
  • eBay imBack!
    Yes and Jeff Bozo, Sergey Brin, Zuck et all need to be jailed!!
    Jul 31 12
    • eBay imBack!
      @Aaadd - u know no shit about eBay and its purpose just like no clue wat you're doing at Facebook and to it's users. Go read stuff and get educated before commenting💩
      Jul 31
    • Facebook Aaadd
      Ebay/imback - you're pathetic. I've been buying and selling on eBay since you were a toddler...
      Aug 1
    • eBay busyBear
      I don't think u get my point. There is a huge difference between running an ecommerce platform which helps sell ur product to millions of customers VS target the products that do well and copy them and sell it under your own brand.
      Aug 1
    • LinkedIn CarpetCog
      You're right. Supermarkets that sell their own store-brand products are evil.
      Aug 1
    • eBay busyBear
      https://apple.news/A2PXMPfLpS0ukOtOVOoaO6Q yet another example how they got to top. Fkn bastards
      Aug 1
  • Google blinoogler
    If someone thinks that Amazon is bad for customers they've never used Amazon. G and FB have given sooo much free value to the country/world it's crazy. This whole thing isn't based on companies hurting consumers (which is why/when u break up), but bc these far leftists hate success.
    Jul 31 3
    • Google blinoogler
      The Dems need someone moderate or they are just handing Trump 4 more
      Jul 31
    • Amazon Tryin2Help
      Vote for Bernie
      Jul 31
    • Uber NxmU81
      Don't turn this into a left right thing. I'm a conservative and I'd support breaking up this companies. Free markets are not right wing or conservative values, those are globalist values.
      Jul 31
  • Amazon @N6L
    That is WAAAAAAY outside the role of government as established in the tenets of the nation.
    Even if they were bad for the economy (the opposite of which is true), they are not monopolies, and therefore there isn't even a legal basis to break them up.
    Jul 31 4
    • Pinterest sted fred
      There is no basis in current law.

      The proposals would require new laws, and those are unlikely to get through a Congress influenced by lobbyists
      Jul 31
    • Apple Snut Ella
      First they are clearly monopolies. Secondly there is tons of law addressing oligopolies. Do you really think standard oil zero competitors?
      Jul 31
    • LinkedIn CarpetCog
      How are any of these companies monopolies?

      The politicians calling for these breakups are spreading distracting FUD to attempt to preserve their own power monopolies.
      Jul 31
    • Amazon Dingo8UrBB
      You would have to look back to Microsoft and the browser wars for the last government kidney punch to a tech monopoly. MS monopoly of the desktop OS market and the subsequent decision to not break it up, but instead hamstring the business led to a slower pace of innovation and investment in deathbed competitor Apple.

      It’s not easy to see anti-competitive monopolies that fit that mold today. FB social graphs and Google search are the clearest monopolies. They could have similar hamstring moments if the US was to take the side of consumers like the EU has done more recently.
      Aug 1
  • Tinder trolol
    Just Facebook. Facebook needs to die
    Jul 31 3
    • Intel big_pp
      Facebook seriously needs to die. That fkr burg should have his s*x videos posted. Not that anyone would be interested.
      Aug 1
    • Amazon ewjX55
      That would be hilarious. Why hasnt anyone done deep fakes on that yet?
      Aug 1
    • eBay busyBear
      I understand your frustrations. It's not only Facebook. Google, Amazon r equally notorious.
      Aug 1
  • Walmart jhim
    That are evil but still there's a lot of good in them staying as big as that are. I cannot explain the freedom Android smartphones and WhatsApp have brought to rural India and Asia. I'm one of the few people who have seen from a very close quarters the transformation that a smartphone has ushered in daily life of a rural poor. It's beyond words to explain. Technology was very costly, I understand that monopoly of big tech firms is bad , but no one can make technology cheaper and affordable at the same scale these big guys have. Breaking up theSE guys will only increase the cost of technology for poor.
    Jul 31 4
    • New naire
      No, talking about cheap and affordable technologies for people in rural Asia, Africa, and some Latin America, you'll need to give credit to Chinese phone manufacturing firms like Huawei, Tecno, etc. An Apple phone or a google pixel isn't affordable by rural dwellers.
      Aug 1
    • Walmart jhim
      If not for free Android, smartphone would have been limited folks that could buy BB and iPhone. In fact, in this case the Android ecosystem and possibilities propped up the cheap smartphone market.
      Aug 1
    • Tesla snsnu
      You know that Walmart is #3 employee in the world right? After US and China army
      Aug 1
    • Walmart jhim
      I'm not talking about the employment here per se. It's about the paradigm shift few of the tech innovations have brought in the life of less privileged. Difficult to put in words.
      Aug 1
  • Monolith -> microservices.
    Jul 31 4
    • Rackspace plastic_t
      Whoa now
      Jul 31
    • Reliable Software YonkoKaido
      I am dubbing a new term. Nanoservices which are way better than microservices for God knows why 😂
      Jul 31
    • Microsoft WassaMatta
      I propose “picoservices.” It even SOUNDS delicious.
      Aug 1
    • JCPenney Pano
      Femtoservices.
      Aug 1
  • Amazon aspie
    When politicians get an upper hand over a free market, everything will rot, politicians will get corrupted and it’s the end of democracy. Whoever comes up with this idea is looking to fish in muddy water. Easy way to get rich. We need Democrats to look for better candidates or they will never win election.
    Jul 31 5
    • Apple Snut Ella
      Dude. Go back to Econ 101 and learn. It’s the job of government ensure there is a free market. Read “The Wealth of Nations”. https://www.amazon.com/Wealth-Nations-Adam-Smith
      Jul 31
    • Google iamhal
      Are you implying that a free market doesn't exist?
      Jul 31
    • Apple Snut Ella
      Of course it doesn’t exist. Where’s the google App Store for iOS?
      Jul 31
    • Uber NxmU81
      The free market doesn't exist, it's a utopian ideal and like all utopias it always leads to dystopia when trying to achieve it.
      Jul 31
    • Uber andyou
      "It’s the job of government ensure there is a free market", first make sure the gal who is proposing this breakup agrees with you; I don't believe she would, even if she'd swear. Her friend-in-arms Bernie is as anti-free market as they come.

      The motivation is to make as big a splash as possible so that the voters remember her name, instead of the Donny boy who himself is a grand master in making splashes, so she needs to out-splash him. Then, once elected, use all the power to secure her second term and maybe pay off some of the ones who helped her to get elected.

      Now whether the breakup makes sense, is a different question.
      Jul 31
  • Yelp Jvub76
    Standard oil was once a one large corporation, breaking up won't help.
    Jul 31 2
    • Pinterest sted fred
      Helped residential phone service
      Jul 31
    • Apple Snut Ella
      Standard Oil is literally the textbook case of why breaking up monopolies is good.
      Jul 31
  • Apple Snut Ella
    This needs to happen. For the good of the industry and the FAAG’s.

    I recall in the late 90’s when there was call to breakup Microsoft. It was the right move then. And while the remedy wasn’t a breakup the company was seriously chastened and is both stronger and a better partner today.

    Do it. At least to Facebook.
    Jul 31 5
    • Facebook Aaadd
      Looking forward to seeing how a broken up Apple competes with all your competitors chomping at your heals.
      Jul 31
    • Facebook ouHU60
      They do it to one, they’ll do it to all. Whenever anyone sees $$$$$$$$$$ they will do anything to have some.
      Jul 31
    • Apple Snut Ella
      There are other remedies to monopoly power less than a breakup. How about alternate app and music stores? How would that be bad for the market?
      Jul 31
    • Tinder trolol
      Break up FANG!
      Jul 31
    • Compass swddz
      There's literally no reason Instagram needs to be part of facebook and the company has a near monopoly on social media. Apple has nowhere close to a monopoly
      Jul 31
  • Qualcomm libertarin
    Break up big oil and big pharma and big Banks. you pay higher prices as the companies merge and reduce competition
    Jul 31 4
    • LinkedIn CarpetCog
      Or big government?
      Jul 31
    • Qualcomm libertarin
      Those 3 controls the USA
      Aug 1
    • Uber NxmU81
      ^^haha cute. Ever heard of AIPAC? That lobby controls USA. Why do you think we got into all these wars in the middle east that don't benefit us?
      Aug 2
    • New xArp63
      Breakup big political parties
      Aug 3
  • LinkedIn inculcate
    Big tech doesn’t fear antitrust laws, as a full breakup is very unlikely - they do, however, *deathly* fear tech workers unionizing.

    Tech companies try to act like they’re aren’t top down but they absolutely are- they are run by deified narcissists who insist on an insane level of control. they do things in their business strategy that their employees don’t agree with and don’t want them to do. The google walkouts look very promising. Think how utterly terrified google execs must be at the thought of *all* their tech employees having union backing. Facebook might actually have to remotely try to respect people’s privacy. YouTube might actually have to enforce their hate speech policies.

    The workers create the product, they create the value, and they *should* have say in how things are done. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for why we should be unionized.
    Jul 31 4
    • StockX GapF22
      You’ve been reading too much LinkedIn preaching. Wtf wants a union?
      Jul 31
    • Coinbase g6783
      Unions were/are needed in industries where big business takes advantage of workers and refuse to pay living wages, ensure safe working conditions, etc. Which workers are you referring to? I doubt Google engineers would want to unionize.
      Jul 31
    • Uber andyou
      Please say your name so we can propose you as a union leader :-)

      Keep building more corrupted orgs to take care of corrupted orgs!
      Aug 1
    • Microsoft blinkd182
      Fuck being unionized. I already have 40 pct of my paycheck going to taxes.

      Our jobs are so damn comfortable compared to something like construction or retail or even the cutthroat environment of sales and we make so much money as it is. Talk to someone outside of tech. Your jaw will hit the floor once you find out how much less money they make compared to us.

      There are issues here and there and being unionized would just be yet another issue.

      There needs to be better regulation on these things. It’s kinda too late to break up a company. Everything is so interdependent. In theory you might be able to split a person’s left and right half and they can be alive. It’d be incredibly hard though. How do you even split something like Amazon or Facebook or Google? What about all the shared code and infrastructure and corporate secrets? This is like an example of government people trying to regulate something they don’t understand.
      Aug 2
  • Facebook ouHU60
    No these companies aren’t the ones needing breaking up. Comcast and Time Warner do.
    Jul 31 1
  • StockX GapF22
    Split em! A wild Wild West of competitive start ups? Some me up. They will spread across the country like crazy too. I think the market would explode because people could found company’s in really low cost of living areas and still pay vat salaries and get amazing engineers
    Jul 31 4
    • Facebook c0de
      What incentive is there to invest in a startup if acquisition isn't an option at some point? What is exit strategy then?
      Jul 31
    • IPO-ing, @FB?
      Aug 1
    • Microsoft Specific
      Man, I must be old. There was a time when aquisitions weren't the norm.
      Aug 1
    • BigCommerce SmOp78
      Or stay private and just, you know, make money and grow. Everyone is only interested on retiring from an IPO or acquisition now.
      Aug 3