Even though technology is now an indispensable part of our lives, its emergence was anything but smooth. In fact, the creation came frighteningly close to fading away into oblivion multiple times before it really took off. The sheer doubt regarding its sustainability amongst the general public meant that a good chunk of technology’s initial days would just go in convincing people. Nevertheless, the fortune cookie would eventually crumble the right away; as the world slowly begin to better understand the novelty of what they had in front of their eyes. This change, however, wouldn’t have happened without the persistence put on display by a small group of tech advocates. They preached the word of technology by consistently coming up with innovative representations of it, each one focused on catering a different need. While this ensured that we were getting closer and closer to having that complete tech ecosystem, it also put these drivers of technology in an advantageous position. Hence, when a tech-driven era did arrive, they were already miles ahead of all the other players that were now joining the race. Now, one can argue that this was a fair reward for their bold call, except the repercussions of it would turn out to be beyond grave, and it seems like we are finally realizing it now.
Federal Trade Commission’s Chief, Lina Khan has launched an all-out attack on big tech companies for violating the antitrust regulations by monopolizing the market. In a freshly issued memo, Khan has claimed that these companies have deliberately caused market imbalance through “rampant consolidation”, resulting in extensive consumer exploitation. Even though there were no particular mentions about names like Facebook, Amazon, and Apple, the direction in which this message was sent couldn’t have been any clearer.
“Business models that centralize control and profits while outsourcing risk, liability, and costs also warrant particular scrutiny, given those deeply asymmetric relationships between the controlling firm and dependent entities can be ripe for abuse,” says Lina Khan.
The lack of competitive space in some tech niches has been brought up on various occasions, but so far, little is done to improve the situation. Nonetheless, Khan has called for a more aggressive yet holistic approach towards such cases of sidestepping the accepted code of conduct. Two important and somewhat new mentions on FTC’s list of measures for changing things up are better merger enforcement and a stricter stance against non-compete contracts. Big companies straight up absorbing the smaller ones has played a big role in making market scant, therefore the commission would be looking to assess what factors are leading up to repeated occurrences of this nature. Furthermore, there is a strong intention to do away with unhealthy practices like non-compete contracts that prohibit the movement of human resources even if they are not actively employed by the company.