Lawmakers keen to break up ‘big tech’ like Amazon and Google need to realize the world has changed a lot since Microsoft and Standard Oil | The Conversation

As Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google once again find themselves under the national spotlight, policymakers across the globe are turning a critical eye towards antitrust action and considering the possibility of breaking the companies up into smaller pieces. In his latest article for The Conversation, Dean Chakravorti discusses how advocates and opponents of breaking up big technology companies are falling prey to some serious myths and misconceptions.

Dean Chakravorti debunks many misunderstandings, including the widely held belief that user data and Google is comparable to “standard oil”, antitrust is exclusively about money, trust-busting is all-or-nothing, and that COVID-19 and the end of tech bashing.

Arguments for and against antitrust action often use earlier cases as reference points.
The massive 19th-century monopoly Standard Oil, for example, has been referred to as the “Google of its day.” There are also people who are recalling the 1990s antitrust case against Microsoft.
Those cases may seem similar to today’s situation, but this era is different in one crucial way: the global technology marketplace.

Bhaskar Chakravorti, The Conversation