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Leonid Bershidsky

Break Up the Tech Giants? No, Just Level the Field

Facebook, Google and Uber should be held to the same rules as their older rivals.
Legacy rules.

Legacy rules.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

People in the U.S., not just in the European Union, are finally getting worried about tech sector leaders' market dominance and the political power it confers. Unfortunately, the solutions gaining traction are the kind of anti-monopoly regulations that address the symptoms of the problem, not its root cause.

Some 45 percent of American adults get news from Facebook. Google's search market share in the U.S. approaches 86 percent. About 43 percent of all online retail sales in the U.S. last year went through Amazon. So no wonder people get concerned when Facebook reports that, during the U.S. presidential campaign, hundreds of fake accounts, possibly operated from Russia, bought and ran about $100,000 worth of political ads from the social media company. It's no surprise that there's an outcry about Google's treatment of free speech inside the company and, likely, in a think tank the company funds. It's natural that Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition raises alarms.