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Is it time to break up the Big 4?

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Biker, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    As in the Big 4 tech companies (Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google).

    Why Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Need to Be Disrupted

    Some compelling arguments in why some tech companies need to be reigned in and broken into smaller parts.

    In tax revenue alone, the Big 4 pay peanuts compared to others.

    On this, I put the blame squarely on Congress and their inability to rewrite the tax code to where huge loopholes are finally closed.

    Then we have jobs.

    Then we have the debacle of Russian interference.

    And finally.....

    A longish read, but well worth it.
  2. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    Biker, I have to disagree.

    You and I, not companies and corporations pay taxes to feed the government. To a business, taxes are a cost, just like materials, electricity or shipping. Raise taxes on businesses and the price we pay for goods and services go up as well.

    For the P&G/Intel/FB comparison, that is apples to elephants. P&G produces a wide variety of personal care products. Intel produces a small number of "flavors" to one product, CPU's. FB is a pure service. I don't think market cap / # of employees is an accurate comparison. They have totally different equipment costs, price of materials, profit margins and so on.

    I am also with Milton Friedman on government regulation. If the government is big and powerful enough to regulate (i.e. trust-bust) an industry, it is big and powerful enough that the big corporations will "lobby" (i.e. buy political influence with bureaucrats and lawmakers) for laws and regulations that will benefit them and hurt competition. You can file Burr's comment under "lobbyist."

    The free market is the most powerful regulation device out there. Facebook makes its money by building a service that puts eyes on ads, just like TV and radio (well, ears...). If FB starts doing unpopular things (aggressive/unwanted ads, unfriendly interface, etc), then the market is ripe for another service to come along and people will move their eyes to the new service.
  3. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    The idea of breaking up Facebook is ridiculous. If Facebook disappeared today millions of people would spend their time on something other than saying nothing interesting using billions of words. A bunch of FB addicts would be freed of their social media addiction and only FB stockholders would be harmed.

    Amazon's low profits are due to their perspicacity in plowing their profits into expansion rather than paying out profits. I question just how competitive Apple is in the mobile market compared to its many competitors particularly Samsung.

    I'll admit I'm disturbed by Google's tracking of our Internet activity.
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member


    Look at the past company break ups. Best example probably AT&T. How many households used a landline back in the 1980's? They were the only one in the game and it was a need to do just that.

    I am not sure if there's a NEED to use Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon. There are still plenty of alternatives (duckduckgo best example that does NOT track your searches).

    TO me, this screams as "you are making too much money and we want a piece of it".
    Allene and Arc like this.
  5. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Just what I said elsewhere too. The last thing the Democrats want is to have a successful economy. If they can drag it down, would they? Absolutely!

    Was I the only one to note that during the last couple weeks of the upward trend that liberals were claiming it was just the result of the long term effects of Obama's presidency, but then when the correction started the tone suddenly backed down and you didn't hear the words "Obama" and "stock market" in the same conversation?

    Noting that of course one good day like it appears today will be does not prove anything such as the correction being over. Tomorrow could be a continuance of the correction. (But still, it's 40 minutes to closing and my AMZN has been up all day, now up 4%!!!)

    I'll tell you though, I had to laugh out loud when I heard liberals suggesting that the stock market gains be attributed to Obama. That's like attributing the birth of Jesus Christ to the camels. ;)
  6. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    No. But there are tons of teenagers who are addicted to it, which is also part of the reasons given it may be best to break 'em up. I've posted about that aspect here: Smartphones and social media are destroying our kids

    It's no secret that I loathe all forms of social media as it stands today. I'll never own an Apple product. Hell, if I could get away with it, I'd even ditch my Android phone and go back to something simpler, but the ability to check emails on the go is too important to do away with that aspect. And yes, I do have an Amazon Prime account. It wasn't intentional (I forgot to cancel the trial). So for the year, I'll get my money's worth out of it and then cancel.
  7. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Biker, you bought the wrong thing. You bought Amazon Prime. You should have bought AMZN stock!

    Well I failed at Facebook. If I ever try again I'll get a 15 year old to set up my account.

    You do know that forums are one form of social media, don't you?
  8. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    All y'all are looking at it wrong.

    It's not WHO, it's the WHAT.

    It doesn't matter if you break FB, Pinterest, et.al., up into smaller chunks or not. How would you do that anyway? AT&T was broken up using physical boundaries. I don't think that will work today.

    The thing that has to stop are services that promote and maximize the "short-term dopamine hit." THAT's what our kids are hooked on. Coupled with the feelings of inadequacy promoted by social media (you see everyone else's highlight reel, then compare it to your personal blooper reel) is there any other reason why our kids are hooked on social media and getting more depressed every day?
  9. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    There are no physical boundaries on the Internet. Well, China etc.

    Mark! You just found my drug of choice! Dopamine! :)
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I stopped reading after that. No self-respecting teen is using FB. My 27 year old kid doesn't even use it and constantly reminds me that it's for old people.

    Snapchat? Another story but even that ride if coming to a close soon.

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