Federal Trade Commission chair Joe Simons waffled around the issue of whether tech giants who violate anti-competition laws could be forced to break up into smaller companies.
“If you have to, you do it,” Simons said. “It’s not ideal because it’s very messy.”
The FTC has been accused of coddling Facebook in a recent privacy settlement, but now seems quite interested in exactly how Facebook became “a globe-spanning behemoth,” according to Gizmodo.
Did they indeed buy subsidiaries like Instagram and WhatsApp for the single purpose of eliminating competition? Both the Department of Justice and the FTC are launching their own investigations.
Consolidation of Big Tech and growing backlash toward Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google is highlighting business issues of scale and competition. But per New Street Research analyst Blair Levin, “any concrete action and coherent thinking on these things” isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.