By Jon Talton
The Seattle Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Professor Scott Galloway argues that a breakup of the Big Four (Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google) would inject “oxygen” into the economy, improving competition and unleashing capital.
The Seattle Times
Is it time to break up Big Tech? Scott Galloway, professor of marketing at New York University, thinks so. Silicon Valley and Seattle should pay attention.
Galloway is no socialist Luddite. He’s a veteran entrepreneur and beneficiary of the industry. He’s also author of “The Four,” a penetrating book about Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet.
“The Four” also come in for most of his wrath in this bracing, mandatory read in Esquire.
A few quotes to whet your appetite:
–“Having your firm weaponized by foreign adversaries to undermine our democratic election process is bad … really bad. During the 2016 election, Russian troll pages on Facebook paid to promote approximately three thousand political ads. Fabricated content reached 126 million users. It doesn’t stop there — the GRU, the Russian military-intelligence agency, has lately taken a more bipartisan approach to sowing chaos.”
–“Big tech learned from the sins of the original gangster, Microsoft. The colossus at times appeared to feel it was above trafficking in PR campaigns and lobbyists to soften its image among the public and regulators. In contrast, the Four promote an image of youth and idealism, coupled with evangelizing the world-saving potential of technology.”
–“Unlike Microsoft, which was typecast early on as the ‘Evil Empire,’ Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon have combined savvy public-relations efforts with sophisticated political lobbying operations — think Oprah Winfrey crossed with the Koch brothers — to make themselves nearly immune to the scrutiny endured by Microsoft.”
–” … The companies’ vague, high-minded pronouncements — ‘Think Different,’ ‘Don’t Be Evil’ — provide the ultimate illusion.”