Senior Member from US
joined:Nov 2, 2014
Thanks for the post and link to the story.
Anyone that knows me understands how much I despise big tech companies that abuse their dominance. Many of these companies, such as Google, also own subsidiaries that can also be seen as monopolies. But I think there needs to be a different approach to addressing these issues then what Warren discussed. Instead of breaking up these big tech companies first, by forcing them to sell off some of their assets, why not look at breaking up or heavily restructuring those Federal agencies that allowed this to happen in the first place? As was discussed at [webmasterworld.com
...] the FTC went after a seller on Amazon for posting fake reviews while the FTC placed no burden of responsibility on Amazon for displaying fake information despite it being their marketplace. Federal regulators have simply become lazy, and go after the low hanging fruit, while big tech companies get a free pass. Unless the regulators themselves are reformed, and antiquated antitrust laws modernized, there can be no lasting benefit of breaking up any company.
I do strongly agree with Warren that taxpayer handouts to big tech companies is a problem. Often cities right next to each other will club one another over the head trying to give away taxpayer dollars that could otherwise be used to maintain services, roads, etc. I saw that myself when a large company moved about 10 minutes away from my home. The city granted this company a large tax incentive package and the state chipped in too. But here's the problem, this company moved only 15 minutes away from its prior location (in state move). While taxpayers paid for new roads, sidewalks and parking garages for this one company, city inspectors were on the other side of town marking resident's sidewalks that needed to be repaired out of their own pockets or they would be fined. Fast forward about five years, and there is no money in the budget for road repairs elsewhere in the city because they spent most of it on one company's needs. It's no surprise that politicians are now seeking a property tax increase for road repairs while that big company is still paying no property taxes to the city.
I think the easiest way to deal with big business tax incentive handouts is to require states, counties and cities to report such occurrences to the Federal Government. The Feds could then deduct an amount not less than the actual tax incentive package value from any Federal funds they receive which would essentially make taxpayer handouts a zero sum game. Regardless of how it is done, tax incentive packages/giveaways needs to end because they often strengthen already dominant players in an industry and place small businesses at an even greater disadvantage.