For the first 15 years of the 21st century, Democrats and Big Tech seemed to get along. There was something exciting and progressive about the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos that made them distinct from the Koch Brothers and Rupert Murdoch. They wanted to make the world more connected and to liberate us all from the bounds of society’s echo chambers. Big Tech capitalized on America’s naivety.
Only now have we started to think about the possible consequences of Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (GAFA) controlling markets that we don’t know how to regulate. Meanwhile, those who stand to lose from a GAFA ‘breakup’ have been cultivating a persuasive current of fear. It’s something that the CEO’s like to talk about, a lot. They argue that breaking GAFA up would give competing Chinese monopolies the upper hand and ultimately lead to China’s global economic hegemony. But are America’s Big Four really fighting for the US? Does a monopolized industry stand a better chance against Chinese tech than a competitive one? No and no.