Instructor: Aleksi Aaltonen, Section 002

Tech Giants May Have to be Split Up

According to the inventor of the World Wide Web, Time Berners-Lee, the overbearing dominance of few Tech Giants (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple) is becoming too large. In an interview, Berners-Lee states that, “what naturally happens is you end up with one company dominating the field so through history there is no alternative to really coming in and breaking things up.” Prior to splitting themgiants photo up, Berners-Lee states, that it is important to see whether a small player beats them out of the market, or if the overall shift in interest within the market affects these companies instead. He continues to explain that the overall “individual empowerment” that comes with the Web, has in a way, dissipated.

With excessive market power, these giant prevent the entrance of new innovations because they are established enough to see off their potential rivals. An interesting point that Barners-Lee made was about the potential for a disinterest within the market. However I seem hesitant to believe that with a shift in interest within the market will stop these companies from also shifting alongside it due to their vast amounts of financial resources and dominance over such an omnipresent industry. But you truly never know what the future holds.

2 Responses to Tech Giants May Have to be Split Up

  • I couldn’t agree more with Berners-Lee, that the issue with one company dominating the field, or even a few, is that you tend to end up with total control by one player which is very dangerous when such large amounts of people (billions) are exposed to the content. For instance, Facebook and Google are both notorious for their rather fierce censorship, which in some cases is without a doubt necessary, but in many others, especially on the topic of politics, seems to censor whatever dissenting opinions conflict with those in charge. To improve upon these issues, what do you think you should be done at a legislative level or what smaller players could do to fight these problems?

  • In terms of disruptive innovation I believe it will be interesting to keep an eye on if these tech giants are split up, what openings will be left in the market. The term ‘disruptive innovation’ seems to have a negative connotation but I believe it is good for a market to have a mix of both big and small players for the sake of competition. Like Steven said, big companies like Facebook and Google are known for their extreme censorship, so maybe separating the big players to give smaller players a voice could kick-start the disruption.

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