Trump and US authorities against IT giants: Who will win?
A few years ago, it was simply impossible to imagine large-scale lawsuits and attempts by the US authorities to strangle the largest American IT corporations. However, with the advent of Donald Trump, everything began to change. First, an imaginary Russian intervention in the elections took place, which still remains the most powerful argument of Trump's opponents from the camp of the Democrats. And then objective and not the most biased features of the work of IT giants began to open.
For three years, large-scale leaks of personal data from Facebook were revealed, and the head of the company, Mark Zuckerberg, was forced to justify himself in Congress. Then it turned out that Zuckerberg was haggling with personal user data. He did it in the interests of Facebook and partner companies. Loyalist firms used these preferences to, for example, promote their advertisements on a targeted basis, owning Facebook bases, and leaving the disloyal Zuckerberg "overboard." There are all signs of cartel collusion.
However, the rest of the giants could not stay away. Google, which Donald Trump is currently using as heavy artillery in a trade war against China and Huawei, is suspected of monopolizing the market. The WhatsApp service has already made serious leaks due to security problems, and the US authorities have a reasonable claim: if you are a leader in the market and use your monopoly position, then you should not allow this.
Finally, all IT corporations in response to assistance from the US government refused to fully cooperate with them - to provide encryption keys and access to their databases. The US authorities have formed the opinion that companies have become too large and feel too independent, and therefore should be “dismembered”, as both Democrats and Republicans have already said. In the US, the de facto campaign of 2020 has already started. The political forces understand that the one who rules social networks, public opinion, and therefore the one who controls the work of IT giants, will win.
On June 1, the Wall Street Journal wrote that the US government intends to conduct antitrust auditing by Google. It was about the resumption of the investigation, which the Federal Trade Commission of the United States began in 2013, but it was discontinued. The publication reported with reference to anonymous sources that the new measures against Google could mark the beginning of a new era of total control over the search giant.
There is no direct answer to the question of what exactly Google has done. However, sources argued that the giant's antitrust inspections are the result of “accumulating critical mass” of contradictions because of the consequences of the work of all the major IT giants in general.
While the US authorities were immersed in the pre-election process, and then, after Trump came to power, they got involved in settling accounts between supporters of the new US President and his counterpart Hillary Clinton, the companies quietly counted the profits, which they themselves went into because of this political struggle.
For example, Alphabet, which owns Google and is consistently among the top five largest companies in the world in terms of market capitalization, which has traditionally been strong in online advertising, has begun to actively compete with Facebook and Amazon in the fight for the market. This, in turn, was noticed by the US antitrust authorities, who questioned the legitimacy of companies to hold such large market shares. Finally, the US authorities have increasingly clearly linked the work of these companies with the political struggle in the United States.
The opposition of the authorities to large companies - first, Google, and then the rest. However, when senators and even Trump himself criticize companies, it would seem, what kind of a war is there? In theory, power, censorship, law enforcement and some repressive mechanisms of the US government apparatus can easily call companies to account, and this is not counting the lawsuits, which in the United States are of great force. However, everything is not so simple.
If we add to this Trump's intention to “dismember” companies so that they are not so large and do not pose a big threat, then Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook will probably have a difficult struggle for survival in the coming years. No, of course, the iPhone will not disappear from the market, and Google will not close its services. Simply at its most basic level, corporations can switch to a completely different principle of work, and power in a bright and democratically perfect American society, with the help of totalitarian power methods, will suddenly move away from the gateway of world business to the state.
You can blame Trump or US officials for this, but large IT companies in recent years have been mired in a real “debauchery”, have collected an incredible number of lawsuits, they have questions in almost all countries of the world (and in some of them they are blocked at all). Therefore, it is not surprising that the political struggle in the United States goes beyond the framework of political squabbles and acquires the character of the reorganization of American society and economic relations.
Unfortunately, neither Donald Trump, nor Congress, nor any power structures guarantee that the fight against the domination of corporations will take place under the banner of democratic freedoms and values of the conservative American minority. IT giants earn too much money all over the world so that the “feeder” remains unattended.