Big Tech Has Turned Its Big Guns on Itself
Who needs threats of antitrust when Zuckerberg and Cook are heading towards their own Shakespearean ending
There seems no end to the fury of Epic Games against Apple. On three continents, the megahit maker of Fortnite is claiming that Apple is leveraging its outsized technological power to strangle companies that refuse to bow to its control over millions of apps-based businesses. Apple, Epic alleges in its latest salvo — an angry antitrust complaint filed in the European Union last week — has “completely eliminated competition in app distribution” and hurt small developers with the 30% standard cut of revenue it demands off the top.
Epic’s offensive is among dozens of anti-monopoly cases on both sides of the Atlantic that threaten to break up Big Tech and make it more legally accountable for its impact on other businesses. In their ideology-agnostic, multinational, public, and private blitz, all the plaintiffs agree on one thing: Something must be done to rein in the power of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
In the quest to protect themselves, big tech companies have formed a gigantic circular firing squad, Hamlet set amid the monopolies of Silicon Valley.
In their defense, the tech behemoths have said they are open to regulation, though not any kind that would require them to fundamentally change. That they are looking for the government to step in with some rules of the road, as long as they do not face dismemberment by hiving off their parts into separate companies. And indeed they may succeed in warding off such extreme action.
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But one aspect of this combat suggests a more complicated future for them, put in motion by their own doing. In the quest to protect themselves, big tech companies have formed a gigantic circular firing squad, Hamlet set amid the monopolies of Silicon Valley. And we all know how Hamlet…