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There will be blood: Google, Ama­zon and Face­book near­ing monop­oly with Apple not far behind prompt­ing calls for FTC to top­ple tech titans

The Sil­i­con Val­ley start-ups that began as a flash of an idea inside the minds of Mark Zucker­berg and Lar­ry Page and Sergey Brin have grown into some­thing none of the men could have ever imag­ined.

Face­book has a mar­ket cap of just under $560 bil­lion and Google par­ent com­pa­ny Alpha­bet is at $772 bil­lion.

The Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion revealed it was inves­ti­gat­ing data col­lect­ed by Google on its Android oper­at­ing sys­tem back in May, and in a 60 Min­utes inter­view soon after, antitrust lawyer Gary Reback said that Google does not have a monop­oly but mul­ti­ple monop­o­lies.

Of course Google’s a monop­oly. In fact they’re a monop­oly in sev­er­al mar­kets. They’re a monop­oly in search. They’re a monop­oly in search adver­tis­ing,’ said Reback.

He lat­er not­ed: ‘Google is the gate­keep­er for– for the World Wide Web, for the inter­net as we know it. It is every bit as impor­tant today as petro­le­um was when John D. Rock­e­feller was monop­o­liz­ing that.’

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Social monopoly: There are growing calls for the Federal Trade Commission to start looking into the acquisitions of leading tech companies like Google and Amazon (Mark Zuckerberg in Paris last month above)
Social monop­oly: There are grow­ing calls for the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion to start look­ing into the acqui­si­tions of lead­ing tech com­pa­nies like Google and Ama­zon (Mark Zucker­berg in Paris last month above)
Googlers: The Federal Trade Commission revealed it was investigating data collected by Google on its Android operating system back in May (Sergrey Brin and Larry Page in 2007)
Googlers: The Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion revealed it was inves­ti­gat­ing data col­lect­ed by Google on its Android oper­at­ing sys­tem back in May (Ser­grey Brin and Lar­ry Page in 2007)

Of the many aston­ish­ing facts and fig­ures revealed by the CBS news mag­a­zine was that 90 per­cent of all search­es in 2017 were through Google.

They have this phrase they use, “com­pe­ti­tion is just a click away.” They have no com­pe­ti­tion. Bing, their com­pe­ti­tion, has 2 per­cent of the mar­ket. They have 90 pere­cent,’ said Jonathan Taplin, a dig­i­tal media expert and direc­tor emer­i­tus of the Annen­berg Inno­va­tion Lab at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

And Yelp founder Jere­my Stop­pel­man spoke from his own expe­ri­ence when he revealed that Google is able to bury the com­pe­ti­tion in search, push­ing them to the third and fourth pages.

He said that he would nev­er be able to start a com­pa­ny like Yelp today, which is why in 2011 he asked for an inves­ti­ga­tion into Google.

He was not alone either, with Microsoft, Ama­zon, eBay, Expe­dia, and Yahoo all join­ing the cause.

That inves­ti­ga­tion led to noth­ing, but Mar­grethe Vestager, who is the com­pe­ti­tion com­mis­sion­er for the Euro­pean Union, has made it clear that Google bet­ter change its ways over­seas by fin­ing the com­pa­ny $2.7 bil­lion for try­ing to squash out its com­pe­ti­tion.

Microsoft was an inter­est­ing addi­tion to that line­up, as it has been two decades since the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion filed one its most famous antitrust cas­es against Bill gates’ com­pa­ny.

Microsoft was ulti­mate­ly split into two com­pa­nies in 2000 and fined after a judge sided with  the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, who brought charges against Microsoft over its monop­oly on the sale of web browsers and oper­at­ing sys­tems on Intel-based per­son­al com­put­ers.

Since that time there have been few oth­er com­pa­nies brouight up on these charges, with the most recent one of note being Qual­comm.

In 2017, the the world’s biggest pro­duc­er of mobile chips was accused of using their monop­oly to force Apple into an exclu­sive part­ner­ship, a move that land­ed them in court.

That case is still ongo­ing.

Be Bezos: Sales at Amazon are now seven times those of its eight closet competitors - Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom, Home Depot, Macy's, Kohl's and Costco (Bezos above in April) 
Be Bezos: Sales at Ama­zon are now sev­en times those of its eight clos­et com­peti­tors — Wal­mart, Tar­get, Best Buy, Nord­strom, Home Depot, Macy’s, Kohl’s and Cost­co (Bezos above in April) 
Cook the books: Apple meanwhile has the highest market cap of the group at $931 billion,a dn the highest in the world (Tim Cook above in March)
Cook the books: Apple mean­while has the high­est mar­ket cap of the group at $931 billion,a dn the high­est in the world (Tim Cook above in March)

Face­book could be a tar­get now too, and Vestager has gone after them as well with a $122 mil­lion fine for a merg­er vio­la­tion.

Apple mean­while got a $15 bil­lion bill after Vestager ordered Ire­land to col­lect on tax­es owed by the com­pa­ny.

Over in Europe, talks are heat­ing  in regards to how to break up Face­book, which also owns Insta­gram and What­sApp, with many politi­cians feel­ing that the com­pa­ny has become too pow­er­ful.

Then there is Ama­zon, with its $800 bil­lion mar­ket­cap.

Pres­i­dent Trump has attacked Jeff Bezos and his com­pa­ny more than any oth­er since tak­ing office, and yet it con­tin­ues to grow and has now made its founder the rich­est man in the world.

Of the four com­pa­nies it has expe­ri­enced the most rapid growth in the past few years, and shows no signs of slow­ing down.

Many felt that the pur­chase of Whole Foods by Bezos was ques­tion­able because of the pow­er the com­pa­ny already yield­ed over the mar­ket­place.

Sales at Ama­zon are now approx­i­mate­ly sev­en times those of its eight clos­et com­peti­tors — Wal­mart, Tar­get, Best Buy, Nord­strom, Home Depot, Macy’s, Kohl’s and Cost­co — com­bined.

And in 2017 it account­ed for 44 per­cent of e‑commerce salesin the US and 4 per­cent of all retail sales.

Apple mean­while has the high­est mar­ket cap of the group at $931 billion,a dn the high­est in the world.

Zucker­berg is one of the few to direct­ly address claims of a monop­oly, hav­ing been asked by Sen­a­tor Lind­say Gra­ham back in April will tes­ti­fy­ing on Capi­tol Hill.

You don’t think you have a monop­oly?’ said Sen­a­tor Gra­ham.

It cer­tain­ly doesn’t feel l

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