Europe is Doing the Right Thing In Limiting Large Tech Monopolies
By: April Feng
In a world where tech is becoming increasingly more important, the looming threat of tech company monopolies is one that must be addressed. According to The New York Times, European Union leaders are considering a new law that would force tech monopolies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon to work together with rival companies, limiting their power. Although antitrust laws and monetary penalties have been long used to try and balance the market, officials now believe these methods are not effective enough.
According to an article by The Atlantic, America’s economy is being held back by the many corporate monopolies that dominate the market, most especially in the tech market today. They drive inequality, with companies holding large shares of wealth in the hands of few people. And when a complete monopoly of the market occurs, the company can raise prices to unreasonable amounts, with no competition to drive the price back down. Similar instances have occurred in history; during the Gilded Age of the 1920s, famous monopolies such as John Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company and Andrew Carnegie’s Steel Company controlled the entire market share, meaning they could raise prices to outrageous amounts, but there would be no rival companies to counter. Thus, the wealth gap between everyday consumers and lower class citizens would widen more and more.
The US must take actions similar to what the EU and Margrethe Vestager, the head of the European Commission’s antitrust division, are doing. According to The New York Times, the congressional hearing on Wednesday of the four big tech companies, Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook, certainly pushed the momentum of tech regulation. But the US must take more aggressive actions, such as the new proposed Digital Services Act by EU leaders and other limitations on entering new markets.