Big Tech’s Reckoning

In Newsweek

From my cover story in the May 13, 2022, issue of Newsweek

In February, the company formerly known as Facebook lost $232 billion in value in the stock market. Meta Platforms, as the company is now formally known, can only wish that a brutal stock beating is its only problem. The company is also facing a daunting level of ire, which is splashing over onto the rest of Big Tech—that is, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. These tech giants are facing scrutiny from regulators and legislators both in the U.S. and Europe. And they are all objects of an intensifying resentment on the part of the public….Read more

One thought on “Big Tech’s Reckoning

  1. Fred Copsey-Pearce says:

    You have a lot of plausible rationalizations, but you missed the real reason for the tumble in stock price, a growing realization that there is nowhere for the stock to go.

    First, since the 1970s in the US the stock market has operated as a kind of Ponzi scheme. I say this because market fundamentals have been ignored and replaced by the seeking of stocks which have a potential for price growth rather than return on investment. I first became aware of this from a Professor at Carnegie Mellon in 1980 who made a small fortune buying Standard Oil of Ohio stock despite it plowing earnings into increasing its value rather than issuing dividends. The big pay day was when it was sold to BP, up until that point it has a lousy return on investment.

    Big tech has reached the point where there is no one bigger to buy it. Thus there no longer is the possibility of a big pay day for stock holders from such a sale. Instead value is based on return on investment, namely dividends alone.

    Breaking up big tech might allow the Ponzi Scheme to restart for the parts and make the current stock owners richer. This happened with Standard Oil where the constituent units stayed in the established business. It did not happen so much with Bell, but the new sub units were not all geographically separate units, some were system wide units which when decoupled from Bell could not succeed, especially those which attempted new lines of business.

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