Big tech break up: Are Silicon Valley companies too big? | IN 60 SECONDS


Some people argue that large tech
companies are too big. They are indeed large: Facebook has more active users
than there are people in China; Google handles at least two trillion searches a year.
Why are these companies so big? Because you and I use them. We do that because we
get lots of value. So saying they’re too big is to say they provide too much
value, which doesn’t make sense. Other people argue the big tech makes too much money: Facebook’s 2017 profit was 16 billion
dollars, about 40 percent of its revenue. Does Facebook really need that much
money? That’s the wrong question. Only about 10 to 20 percent of tech firms
ever make a profit, so 80 to 90 percent either break even or lose substantial
amounts of money. The profits of the few drive investors to endure the losses of
the many. On average, the tech sector’s returns are comparable to those of the
S&P 500. So when someone says that tech companies are too big, say you’re
grateful: You’re getting great value and competition for the future! What do you
think? Should big tech be broken up? Let us know your comments. Also, let us know
what other topics you’d like our scholars to cover in 60 seconds, and be
sure to like and subscribe for more research and videos from AEI.

12 Comments

  1. Luke Zuzga said:

    Mark Jamison, I think we need to look at tech companies not only from a financial aspect but a social one as well. More over, are big tech companies destroying are social and moral fabric? My guess is, yes. I walk into countless once social places and see the only communication on mobile phones and very little live human action.

    April 25, 2018
    Reply
  2. MasterMind said:

    I don't really think you understand why people don't like companies that are so big so I'll try to lay out some problems that me and many others have with the size of big tech companies.
    – Firstly when we are talking about the financial aspect, these companies barely pay any taxes at all as they are on the mostly based online and as there are countless loopholes in many countries that big tech companies are keen on exploiting (this goes for other large companies like Starbucks too tbh) they pay almost no taxes.
    – Secondly, Large tech companies have huge amounts of data and they are keeping track on as much as possible. Sure they can use some of this data to make it a better service and while we understand that ad revenues for services like Google are necessary to pay the upkeep costs, there is little care for the privacy and protection of this data. I can make whole lists of data scandals if you want? Furthermore, with just the search engine queries of 1 person, u can pretty much piece together in what street they are living. Facebook has been collecting data and selling data even on people who do not have facebook. Is it okay if someone talks to all your friends about you and then sells all the information the have received about you to others?
    – Thirdly, these companies are incredibly powerful. While they are currently in the progress of removing 'fake news' from the internet, one could argue that if they control the media they can push whatever narrative they want. Facebook illegally selling certain data? Fake news! If these services become integrated into every system, google, youtube, Android that people use in daily society it is hard to say 'well just don't use any of these services' because it is hard if half of your society becomes disconnected because they all use those services. Facebook has better facial recognition software (not used on Facebook itself) than the human eye and can identify people even without faces using lots of other data. Google is working on censorship AI to make the internet a 'nicer place'. But using self-learning AI this can, of course, be used to censor dissent. We have seen companies paying Google to move other searches to later pages so they remain mostly unseen. Google tried to favor Hillary Clinton in the election by filtering results to make her look better (not that I give a shit about who wins the election it's the effect that they can have that is the problem). Facebook censored german anti-immigrant posts and while I think those people are either misinformed or might be actual racists, I think this opposes free speech.
    – Fourthly, Monopolies. So here is the problem when you have billion dollar tech companies. One competing against something that controls most systems is almost impossible. Two there have been many cases of these companies either buying up a new company that may or may not be a thread (less competition, more monopoly) or going into legal battles to destroy opponents.

    So while your video is like ' hey these companies are big and rich but also very useful' I think ur missing almost EVERY serious critique launched against big tech.

    April 25, 2018
    Reply
  3. LOUDMOUTHTYRONE said:

    There's a way to destroy Google.

    https://youtu.be/JFzWFrfbBG8

    April 25, 2018
    Reply
  4. 21'st Century Digital Boy said:

    YES! Break up Facebook and Google!

    April 25, 2018
    Reply
  5. Haze H said:

    just another symptom of a completely deregulated economy where money trumps human value: your info is being sold to any company that's got the money, and mouthpiece channels like this are trying to make people believe it's for their own good.
    this guy soon is going to explain to you why it's normal for corporations to have human rights and how a for profit healthcare system is good for the population as a whole instead of a handful of plutocrats who own him and you and everyone in the country.

    April 25, 2018
    Reply
  6. The Mad Tinkerer said:

    It's not the size of the company itself, nor the amount of money they make. It's the influence they wield. If they're being protected from certain kinds of regulation and litigation because they are supposed to be public forums, then they're not supposed to be trying to influence public opinion themselves. They shouldn't have terms of service other than "don't do anything that's illegal in your country". Trying to enforce their own rules on their users undermines the reason why they began with immunity to the aforementioned regulation and litigation in the first place. They want to make up their own rules but don't want to play by the same rules as everyone else.

    That's why the slickest cheaters need to be broken up. Not all of them. Not because they're "too successful" or any other idealist nonsense. Simply because they shouldn't continue to be allowed to be exceptions to the rules.

    April 25, 2018
    Reply
  7. z3ke_sk1さん said:

    Abolish the concept of intellectual property, it'll bring more competition into the tech world.

    April 25, 2018
    Reply
  8. vindictii said:

    You know tech companies are too big when they're able to persuade AEI to produce propaganda for them. Great demonstration AEI!

    April 26, 2018
    Reply
  9. wimmisky said:

    What's next, are you going to put a video out telling us how great Bank of America and Chase are because they're so large they provide value to the consumers and we should just ignore the tens of billions of dollars they've openly illegally stolen from individuals, other corporations, and governments? Big tech has ensured that there is no competition to itself in the future, being forced to choose between a half dozen providers/platforms is not competition, it's a monopoly in market share by way of illegally controlled and manipulated markets. Arguing we have a "free and open internet" in 2018 is about as sensible as saying having the "choice" between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is a good thing. Except it comes with even more serious problems thanks to the inherent role these half dozen corporations play in information distortion and dissemination. Did you conveniently forget when Twitter worked hard to support islamist populist revolutions in the middle east leading directly to the current catastrophes in Yemen, Syria and Libya and the near catastrophe in Egypt? Are you now suddenly going to pretend that these massive tech companies aren't a threat to entire governments as a direct result of the meddling they have conducted during elections in western democracies including the US? Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Apple have bribed our politicians and manipulated both the laws and the public to the point that we've deregulated, refused to enforce regulations, refused to enforce laws, and refused to apply our tax codes to these corporations while they manipulate the populations which they act against. They demand to be treated like public utilities when that serves them best, and demand to be treated like privately held companies when that serves them best. They can't have it both ways, either they have to obey the same rules/laws/taxes as everybody else, or we finally enforce our antitrust statutes and they get broken up or nationalized.

    April 26, 2018
    Reply
  10. Christian Wandel said:

    Defining “too big” by financial and user-base parameters is AEI missing the point. Tech companies are “too big” because of the data they wield and influence they have. Add the social aspect and you ll give some proper insight

    April 26, 2018
    Reply
  11. OMG Puppies said:

    The problem is not that they are big or profitable; those things are fine. The problem is the tech companies are censoring and manipulating political discourse. That makes them a serious threat to our democracy.

    April 26, 2018
    Reply
  12. lee boss said:

    Yes but not sure how breaking up FB would work. they are a monopoly so need regulating. If they own other companies they should be separated. Like google and you tube and they shouldn't be allowed to buy up the competition.

    April 26, 2018
    Reply

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