by TEE MILLER || The Big Five Tech monopolies were not voted into their powerful position, but control our daily lives more than our elected officials do. They have grown too big. Meta, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon collectively generated $320 billion in profits in 2021 and account for nearly 25 percent of the entire S&P 500 Index.
Due to their market reach, they are able to suppress news, information, individuals and businesses. This unfair power dynamic needs to be corrected, and the government is the only entity with more power than Big Tech to put a stop to this problem before it does more damage.
Contrary to a recent opinion article, Congress is not going to “double cross small business in 2022,” when it comes to resolving this predatory behavior. In fact, Congress is finally putting small businesses, consumers, and individuals first in their priorities with the American Innovation and Choice Online Act.
This is exactly the kind of bill that South Carolinians can get behind and it must be adopted soon.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act would ensure that big tech corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple do not control the entire market. The bill would create violations for allowing preference to a platform’s products and services, unfairly limiting another competitor product, discrimination against a business, restricting a business owner on their platform and more. All of these restrictions and constraints on Big Tech platforms would empower small business to be able to reach consumers that they were otherwise being suppressed from.
As Mr. Retzlaff’s article points out, big tech companies certainly did help some businesses throughout the pandemic, since everyone was forced to conduct life online. But, the platforms hurt even more small businesses. They forced shops that could not pay to advertise online to shut their doors. Businesses that did not make it on the first page of the Google search lost customers. Storefront businesses in Greenville, Charleston, and so many places in between could not afford to transition online. The pandemic boosted Big Tech’s profit because they were taking directly from Main Street America’s market. Ultimately, big tech companies were, and are, the detriment of small business – not the savior.
American consumers widely recognize that big tech companies and their monopolistic reach on the markets are doing more harm than good for everyone – small businesses especially.
Thankfully, we have the opportunity to right this wrong. We must call on Sen. Tim Scott to help ensure that this legislation is passed; for the future of small business, as well as the future of free markets and free speech.
Without checks in place, these corporations will continue to grow in power, expanding their dangerous grip. These tech monopolies will keep buying developing companies and establish deals to accumulate more data that they exploit for more user control, as well as profits. When more than half of Americans get their news from social media, tech companies are controlling users’ world view by establishing gate keepers, or “fact checkers.” The data they accumulate, paired with their algorithms and gatekeepers, creates for truly alarming control over individuals and society. They are essentially running people’s lives behind the screens – with no government intervention to correct this power imbalance.
It is critical for Senator Tim Scott and other Senators to take action now. The power, control and tyrannical overreach by these tech companies is unacceptable. It is absolutely vital that the American Innovation and Choice Online Act is passed – for small businesses, consumers and individuals. Big Tech’s control over our lives and livelihoods must end, before it’s too late.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
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Tee Miller is the owner of Black Mingo Outfitters in Georgetown, South Carolina.
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