The tech giants are too big. They’re getting bigger. We can stop them. But in all likelihood, we won’t.
The history of American business is one of repeated cycles of unfettered, sometimes catastrophic growth followed by periods of reflection and regulation. In previous eras of suffocating corporate dominance over our lives — when industrialists gained an economic stranglehold through railroads and vast oil and steel concerns, or when rampant financial speculation sent the nation into economic paroxysms — Americans turned to their government for a fix.
In the last half-century, lawmakers and regulators set up a regime to improve the safety of automobiles and other manufactured goods, to break up a telephone monopoly that controlled much of the nation’s communications and to loosen the fatal grip that tobacco companies held over American society.