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As Big Tech got bigger, regulators circledINTL

As Big Tech got bigger, regulators circled

While Big Tech made some huge advances in 2020 (the rising importance of home delivery and online services is testament to that), Facebook, Apple, Alphabet and Amazon are all fighting anti-trust measures from a range of regulators in various countries, including the US and the European Union. To pick on a few, Amazon is accused of using sales data to launch its own branded products to compete with vendors, Apple’s hefty commission on all sales via its App Store are under the spotlight, Google is seen as maintaining a monopoly position in search, while Facebook is also accused of anti-competitive behavior.

Some of these investigations may result in fines that are likely to pale against the massive profits made each quarter. But more serious are the investigations by the US Justice Department – the suit it filed in October against Google is its first major case against Big Tech since the 1998 Microsoft suit, and could see the company broken up, though most analysts believe this outcome is unlikely.

why it matters
Will Big Tech get damaged by these investigations? Most analysts believe that as America faces off against China, regulators will be reluctant to damage its largest and most successful companies. That said, bad headlines could result in stock price volatility in 2021.