Big Tech has grown a lot. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google all face very real threats to their sufficient power over our daily lives: lawsuits, federal and state laws, international action, and a public that is increasingly distrustful of these companies and interested in and enforcing more control. .
Over the last several years, these companies have grown bigger and stronger, and their business decisions have had a greater impact on our daily lives and society, from the things we buy and where we buy them to the news and opinions we see on social media. . What was once considered an exciting and innovative product that improved our lives has become a necessary evil with some competitors. For others, these companies provide a service they use and enjoy. For the most part, it’s probably a combination of both.
Now we see a bipartisan movement to test these four companies by testing and expanding antitrust laws and their enforcers. Lawmakers have introduced a number of bipartisan bills in the House and Senate. Republicans and Democratic state attorney generals have filed lawsuits against them, alleging competitive practices and calling for financial and structural redress. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, both now led by outspoken Big Tech enemies, are ready to aggressively enforce antitrust laws: they have Big Tech in their eyes. We haven’t seen this kind of technology test since 1998 when the United States sued Microsoft for antitrust violations – a lawsuit that led to the rise of companies under investigation today. Microsoft, meanwhile, has been able to avoid the spotlight this time around, despite being the most valuable of them all, except Apple (depending on the day).
And when these five companies somehow touch our entire lives – sometimes in ways we are not even aware of, perhaps embedded in the Internet infrastructure we always use – many people do not understand exactly what they are being accused of, What antitrust laws are or what they do and why is not as simple as “big tech break up” or “let the market decide”. In this five-part series, we will break down the arguments for and against these organizations, the challenges they face, and how their lives – and our lives – can be changed if those efforts are successful.
Apple is the king of premium phones, tablets, laptops and watches. It’s also the king of vertical integration: it’s the owner of the iPhone, the operating system and the App Store, the only way developers can get their apps on the iPhone. Apple even makes some of its own apps. Now, the company has been accused of abusing control over its mobile devices to undermine competition, stifle innovation and raise prices. Apple says it is simply giving its customers what they want and expect.
By Sarah Morrison
Amazon (coming soon)
Amazon dominates the e-commerce world and has a highly lucrative cloud computing arm, but some say dominance has come at a price, provided by businesses that rely on its marketplace platform or directly to Amazon, warehouse and distribution staff and consumers. Sells to Now, the company is facing no-confidence lawsuits and lawsuits in the United States and abroad, and legal threats that would prevent it from choosing its own products.
By Sarah Morrison
Google (Coming Soon)
Google is so engrossed in the fabric of the Internet that it is literally synonymous with Internet search. It dominates the world’s smartphone operating systems, web browsers, email providers, search engines and digital advertising markets. Alleged abuses of this authority have resulted in billions of dollars in fines for breach of trust abroad, and almost every state in the United States has had a no-confidence motion from the Attorney General as well as the judiciary.
By Sarah Morrison And Shirin Ghafri
Facebook (coming soon)
Facebook, now known as Meta, is a social media giant. It shuts down billions upon billions of targeted ads based on our data, and there are allegations that some of these billions are spent on acquiring potential competitors, either to kill them or to secure their dominance. Regulators now want to split Meta into separate companies, but it won’t be easy.
By Shirin Ghafri And Sarah Morrison
Microsoft (coming soon)
Microsoft is one of the most valuable public companies in the world. Its Windows operating system is by far the most influential. It has made some huge acquisitions. This is definitely a big tech company. Yet it is largely excluded from the Big Tech account, probably because it had its own version two decades ago. Microsoft’s past could be a prelude to the future of the Big Tech Four.
By Sarah Morrison
Reporter: Sarah Morrison, Shirin Ghaffari
Editor: Adam Clark Estes, Samantha Oltman
Photo Editor: Beta Honorver
Graphics: Amanda Northrop
Managing Editor: Nisha Chittal
Copy Editor: Elizabeth Crane, Tim Williams
Busy: The veins swelled