The folly of breaking up Big Tech

Further, breaking up these companies would significantly reduce the value consumers get due to the high interconnectedness of the products. A lot of the value that Google has seen in the Maps platform, for instance, comes from all the data that they have from Search. Customers also receive a lot of value from other Google products that are cross-subsidised from revenue earned in other products. YouTube, for instance, is widely believed to be non-profitable but is supported by revenues earned by other products.

We would also have to stop and wonder how is it that one of the most integral parts of our lives — Google Search — is provided free of cost. Google can give the service for free because it can monetise it with advertising. If Google is broken up, this would no longer be possible. Breaking up any one of these services would give us substantially less valuable services.

Breaking up these technology companies would also have a severe impact on innovation in the sector. As an article in Politico points out, “The top five spenders in research and development in 2017 were all tech companies. Amazon alone spent more than $22 billion. The development of autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and voice recognition wouldn’t be nearly as advanced as they are now if it weren’t for the work of Google and Amazon”. Investing in R&D and finally introducing them into the market is an expensive ordeal. However, big tech companies can afford to do so because of the nature of interconnectedness that exist within their products…

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