The Upside of Being Ruled by the Five Tech Giants – by Farhad Manjoo – NYT

“The tech giants are too big. But what if that’s not so bad?For a year and a half — and more urgently for much of the last month — I have warned of the growing economic, social and political power held by the five largest American tech companies: Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

Because these companies control the world’s most important tech platforms, from smartphones to app stores to the map of our social relationships, their power is growing closer to that of governments than of mere corporations. That was on stark display this week, when executives from two of the five, Facebook and Google, along with a struggling second-tier company, Twitter, testified before Congress about how their technology may have been used to influence the 2016 election.

Yet ever since I started writing about what I call the Frightful Five, some have said my very premise is off base. I have argued that the companies’ size and influence pose a danger. But another argument suggests the opposite — that it’s better to be ruled by a handful of responsive companies capable of bowing to political and legal pressure. In other words, wouldn’t you rather deal with five horse-size Zucks than 100 duck-size technoforces?”

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Great reporting and analysis Farhad Manjoo. Amazon has definitely crossed the lines of propriety. Read the story of how they blackmailed Diapers.com into selling to them or going under. Amazon deserves to be broken up, and carefully regulated like a serial criminal, whose operations you often enjoy.

If the Europeans are telling the truth, Google needs severe government oversight as well. The Europeans report that Google’s searches just happen to prefer Google companies and partners.
David Lindsay blogs at InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

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How the Frightful Five Put Start-Ups in a Lose-Lose Situation – The New York Times

“The tech giants are too big. But so what? Hasn’t that always been the case?As the men who run Silicon Valley will be the first to tell you, a company’s size doesn’t matter here. For every lumbering Goliath, there are always one or two smarter, faster Davids just now starting up in some fabled garage, getting ready to slay the giants when they least expect it.

So if you’re worried about the power of the Frightful Five — Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft — just look at how IBM, Hewlett-Packard or monopoly-era Microsoft fell to earth. They were all victims of “creative destruction,” of an “innovator’s dilemma,” the theories that bolster Silicon Valley’s vision of itself as a roiling sea of pathbreaking upstarts, where the very thing that made you big also makes you vulnerable.

Well, maybe not this time.”

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Ever since I read the story of the Amazon’s brutal take over of Diapers.com in Bloomberg Businessweek, I have called for the breaking up of Amazon. All the little companies it blackmailed into selling themselves or get taken out by competition, should be taken away, and what is left of Amazon should not be allowed to compete with any of them for 50 years or some serious defensive number.