It’s time to rein in Big Tech. That’s what the U.S. House says. And both presidential candidates should agree.

Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple dominate the digital and retail world.

They profit from and play fast and loose with personal data on individuals.

They stifle competition. They control access to news and information, smothering curated and carefully researched news products.

These companies are monopolies like the big oil and railroad trusts busted up in the early 1900s. But their products matter more than oil and their methods are worse than the monopolies of old. Big Tech, full of arrogance, won’t be lassoed and put under saddle without a fight.

Congress, the president and the Justice Department need to tell the bullies that their rule over the virtual and retail playground is over.

Internet searches drive people not to the best information or best prices, but to the platforms and markets controlled by these companies. So Big Tech becomes Big Brother. It knows our preferences, political ideology and reading habits. It knows the mouthwash we prefer.

Tough new antitrust laws written for the digital age, and a Justice Department willing to enforce them, are needed sooner, not later. And whether the next president is Donald Trump or Joe Biden, taking on Big Tech must be a high and immediate priority.

Monopolies are anti-competitive and arguably anti-American. But these particular monopolies present a threat to the free press and the privacy of Americans. Protect the privacy of Americans, embrace competition, and protect free speech. Put an end to Big Tech’s monopoly power. Break them up.

— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


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