As days go by, we realize that tech companies are getting bigger and too powerful. While we possess the power to stop them, we are unlikely to succeed. At least, we can all agree that business in America follows a repetitive cycle. For instance, some companies are involved in some catastrophic growth which is then followed by reflection as well as regulation. This is what happened to Standard Oil of John D. Rockefeller and General Electric of JP Morgan. Even before the current dominance by the corporate giants, there was a time when industrialists used to own everything there was in America. This could range from steel, railroads and the vast oil. When the owners of these companies seemed to control the destiny of the nation, the citizens cried for help from the federal government. The last 50 years have seen lawmakers and regulators come up with measures to help improve the safety of automobiles. At the same time, they were on a mission of breaking the telephone monopoly that controlled a better part of the United States economy. They also set their eyes on controlling industries that produced manufactured goods. While this might sound like a fairy tale from the past, we find ourselves in the same spot.
The only difference is that we face technology companies that are part of the Frightful Five. These are technology companies that include Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Apple. These are companies that control most of the technological platforms that dominate most of our lives. Also, they are the largest corporations around the world by stock-market value. Despite the influence that these companies have on the economy, their sector in general, the tech sector has been given a special pass. This has happened in the eyes of both the Republicans and the Democrats and has spanned for over 20 years. No legislation has been passed to control the sector leave alone government scrutiny. However, things look set to change as the attitude is changing. The fact that Youtube, Facebook, and Google influenced last year’s election is forcing some legislators in Washington to accept that something should be done. Also, there are some concerns about the antitrust policies that are used by these companies. Even the most outspoken Republicans remain muted on the issue. It’s also worrying to see that no drastic measure is likely to be implemented soon, or in the next few months.