If there is one thing that has been established beyond doubt, then that is the fact that much of the world is now heavily influenced by some of the biggest tech companies. Hence, over the past few years, there has been the talk among regulators and critics of the tech industry that many of the companies have become too big and too powerful. In such a situation, it is perhaps better to break them up and hence, curtail their influence somewhat. That being said, it is also important to acknowledge that it is a highly controversial move and one that would need the blessing of the regulators as well as the courts.
It seems that the regulatory will might already be in place if the recent statements from the chief of the United States Federal Trade Commission, Joe Simons are considered. The Chairman of the FTC stated that he is prepared to break up the biggest tech companies like Facebook and one of the ways he could do it is by breaking up the previous mergers that many of the Big Tech companies have completed. In an interview on Tuesday, Simons said that breaking up the biggest tech companies might be an uphill challenge, but it could prove to be the right way forward. He argued that fragmentation of these companies would lead to lesser dominance from single entities and also create greater competition in the marketplace.
Currently, the head of the FTC is in charge of a task force that is looking into the behavior of some of the biggest tech companies. It is believed that they are primarily studying the various mergers that have been completed over the years, and if those mergers are found to be anti-competitive, then the FTC could try to undo those. Additionally, the FTC is also working with the Justice Department, and Simons stated that it could so happen that one company is being investigated by both agencies at the same time for different issues. Regarding this particular matter, Simons said, “It’s possible for sure that we could be investigating the same company at the same time but just for different conduct.” Such a statement from the head of the FTC is not particularly great news for the big tech companies, and it remains to be seen how some of them respond in the coming days.