The Breakup of Big Tech Begins

Google and Facebook are the subject of large antitrust investigations. This is good news for our democracy and a free press

Normally, antitrust enforcement would come from the federal government, but Trump enforcers have proved irrelevant at best. Instead these investigations are being led by the states. The Republican attorney general of Texas and the Democratic attorney general of New York are informal leaders, meaning that the investigations are bipartisan. The state attorneys general complement an important investigation by the House antitrust subcommittee led by David Cicilline. Such leadership suggests the rule of law, absent from American business for several decades, may be on its way back. There are also important investigations, hearings or cases by enforcers in Germany, France, the European Union, Israel, India, Singapore, Russia, Mexico and Australia, among others.

These corporations have become too powerful to be contained by democratic societies. We must work through our government to break them up and regulate our information commons, or they will end up becoming our government and choosing what we see and know about the world around us. It’s easy to be despondent about the state of the world. But at least in this case, there are public servants fighting for the people.

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