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So I'm a moderate libertarian and the "don't tell them what to do, society's hidden hand will decide" is an argument used by libertarians frequently and one I disagree with. One, specifically for this case, the issue at hand doesn't affect the user's. Two being a global company, quitting at Google will just open a slot that they need to fill and they have plenty of people lining up for the job. So really any sort of grass roots effort wont work because there are plenty of people who don't give a shit about the employee woes.

Another problem is that Google has contracts with the government, which belongs to us, so actually we do have a say if our taxes directly fund them. Also there are many companies they have deals with or that use services of theirs, many of which we won't know of the partnership. You are essentially asking for a globally coordinated boycott. But their service is so fundamental that you will find few people giving up the products because they can't. I've had my Gmail account since Gmail came out as invite only when you had to send those links. Too many of my accounts are linked to it and too many people know that's a for sure thing to contact me by. Samsung runs on android and there are other companies and developers that have built businesses around android or Google services. You aren't going to see these companies or individuals, sad as it is, make the pivot away for moral reasons. In some cases sure it's just tedious and annoying, like mine, to change but in other cases it's too much of a cost and risk.

I think the easiest way as I have mentioned in other posts is to break Google up, and other too big to fail/drop tech companies as well. We do it with other types of companies but I think the problem is legislators consider all tech companies as equal competitors to one another. Just because I can make a search engine doesn't mean Google has meaningful competition. I say break them up and let real competition dictate what society wants from them.

I dislike Google the company as well as their products. If someone wants to break them up then you’ll find me smirking on the sidelines when it happens. But how do you talk about breaking up Google without addressing Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc.? They basically all compete in the same markets. What are you going to do? Break up Google and let one of the others take their place? Break them all up? Then what? Outlaw tech conglomerates so no one takes their place? This makes no sense. Or impose regulations so stringent that you’d have to be a massive conglomerate to be able to comply? How does that make anything better if it raises the bar for a newcomer to enter the market and compete?

And if the vast majority don’t give a shit about privacy and actually like what these companies have to offer then who are we to say the rules need to change? Google is as big as they are because they make things a shitload of people want. We are in the minority. As long as we can largely avoid doing business with these companies and there’s someone else who serves us then what’s the big deal? Go use something else.

Well, I actually mention other "too big to fail/drop" tech companies. All four that you mention I think fall under that category. A lot of tech companies touch everything. Google isn't just a search engine company, its AI, it's telecommunications, its software, its hardware. It's not a vertical monopoly its a horizontal one. The same with several of the others you mention. So of course they are going to "compete" with one another. But it's actually not competition if you think about it.

Apple hardware specifically only works with Apple stuff for example. Microsoft back in the day was getting all sorts of crap for not allowing removal of of IE and other anti competitive practices. But today we see whole business built up around even more egregious anti-competitive practices. That's not competition that's literally a new market. I think that what has happened is that tech has exploded so rapidly and our congressional members (in the US) so out of touch with the tech industry that many of these companies operate mostly unhindered. This is a new age where thoughts can be typed up on a computer and the very next day you can start defining the future. Just look at bitcoin, barely 10 years old and already as the market cap of a small nation's GDP.

When a company's actions directly impact the well being of a nation, either economically, physically, socially, or politically, it is the government's job to step in and ensure that the best course of action is taken to protect citizens. We setup farming subsidies to ensure predictable quantities of food are available for the population at predictable prices. When oil and steel were vital for our nations growth, we broke them up and invented laws to ensure that no single entity could influence the health of the nation. I happen to believe we just need to break them up. They have enough products that each can become their own companies. Now I might be wrong, this is kind of a new situation, but we do have to do something, I think that is pretty clear. But I don't think normal market forces will fix this by itself.

I do agree with what you are getting at though, it is messy and there are a lot of unknowns. What I don't agree with though is that it can just be ignored by switching to another product or service and it will go away.

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