Zingales: Too Much Power in the Hands of Big Tech Could Distort American Democracy

Watch comments by Luigi Zingales from the recent AEI Panel  “Should Washington Break Up Big Tech?”

 

 

Left to right: Michael R. Strain, Luigi Zingales, Ryan Hagemann, Andrew McAfee, James Pethokoukis

The excessive concentration of power in the hands of the large tech platforms, particularly the concentration of ad revenues in the hands of Google and Facebook, endangers the freedom of the press, compresses freedom of expression, and could lead to a distortion of American democracy, said University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Luigi Zingales (director of the Stigler Center and one of the editors of this blog) during a panel at the American Enterprise Institute.

 

During the panel, entitled “Should Washington Break Up Big Tech?”, Zingales discussed the growing power of tech platforms, its effect on innovation, and the possible ways in which governments and regulators might address this, such as “social graph portability” and antitrust interventions.

 

“In the last year, 85 percent of the increase in ads online were shared by Google and Facebook. Should we worry about it? The answer is either you have a Panglossian view that the market will always fix the problem no matter what, and then you say ‘ok, let the market go.’ If you don’t have this view, and you look at the history of this country, you think that doing something is probably a good idea. If you are concerned about innovation, the biggest spurt of innovation in this country has been associated with antitrust intervention,” said Zingales. “If you want to create space for new start-ups, some intervention is needed.”

 

Watch Zingales’s full comments from the AEI panel in the video below:

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The ProMarket blog is dedicated to discussing how competition tends to be subverted by special interests. The posts represent the opinions of their writers, not those of the University of Chicago, the Booth School of Business, or its faculty. For more information, please visit ProMarket Blog Policy.  

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