August 22, 2019

In Praise of Big Tech Regulation

“Wall Street is predisposed to hate and fear regulation, which is why the Nasdaq tumbled this week after the Trump administration and congressional Democrats reached a rare consensus that something must be done about tech behemoths. But investors may be worrying for nothing.

True, a heated election season might lead both sides to compete over how aggressively they can attack Silicon Valley’s suddenly unloved champions. But regulators should resist this urge, writes Bloomberg’s editorial board. Some of the FAANG companies –particularly Google parent Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc. – have big problems, from bloated market power to irresponsible data handling. But they do more good than harm, the editors suggest, and shouldn’t be run out of business for their sins.

In fact, there seems to be little appetite among the current powers-that-be for breaking these companies up or similarly aggressive moves, notes Lionel Laurent. Instead, there’s widespread agreement we should scrutinize their future acquisitions much more carefully, to avoid another mistake like letting Facebook waltz away with Instagram.”

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