Big Tech’s free-for-all party is coming to an end

Linda J. Dodson

The report, which used the word “monopoly” over 100 times, proposed that big tech platforms like Apple should be blocked from entering “adjacent lines of business” and from giving preference to their own products.

For Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and others, this is fighting talk of course – the kind of language that will have them anxiously Zooming America’s most expensive lawyers and sweating over the fear their empires could be smashed apart.

The reality may be less dramatic.

For starters, there is only a slim chance that these new proposals – which include calls to restructure companies, reform antitrust laws and strengthen the agencies that enforce them – will be passed in anything resembling their current form.

Barring a clean sweep by the Democrats of both houses of Congress and the presidency, the Democrat-dominated committee which drafted the proposals will struggle to secure consensus or win sufficient support from across the aisle to pass them into law.

In fact, the partisan fightback has already begun with one prominent Republican, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, skewering the report’s “radical” proposals.

If he stays in power, President Trump, of course, has shown little desire to take the fight to Big Tech over antitrust.

Then, of course, there is the inevitable fightback from the tech industry itself, which is gearing up for the mother of all charm offensives. 

Its aim? To persuade politicians and the general public that the proposals go too far and should be watered down – or scrapped.

The howls of protest began within minutes of the report’s publication and could go on for years.

There is another wild card: the complex relationship between the tech industry and the Democratic Party. 

While Democrats like Elizabeth Warren have led the charge against the excesses of Big Tech, California is to the Democrats what Texas is to the Republicans. 

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