personal finance

Are Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon fair game?

The problem with the Monopoly board game is that only one person ends up happy in the last half hour of the game, and everyone else is miserable.

If you believe tech critics, some of the biggest companies in the industry have figured out a way around this unhappy ending in real life. Each one of these multi-billion-dollar juggernauts has its own mini-monopoly. Google gets to rule search engines, Facebook gets social networks, Amazon gets e-commerce and Apple gets expensive phones.

Why does this matter?

One could argue that the tech companies that are in the antitrust crosshairs are more central to our everyday lives than any group of accused monopolists in history. This isn’t a bunch of railroads or oil companies. This is the app you use all day to talk to your friends and family. The phone you use to fire up that app. The service you use to search for the theme gift for a 10-year wedding anniversary, and the store you use to buy the gift.

If these companies are found to be monopolists, and they’re found to be abusing their monopoly power, they could get broken up or otherwise restricted.

Should that happen?

Jon Fortt dives deep with antitrust experts Doug Melamed and Dina Srinivasan.

Fortt Knox is a weekly podcast from CNBC anchor Jon Fortt. Previous episodes of the program can be found here.


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