How Trump Breaks up Big Tech
How Trump Breaks up Big Tech by Dan Denning – Bonner and Partners
Editor’s Note: Earlier this week, President Trump accused Silicon Valley giant Google of censoring conservative-leaning articles in its search results. Google denied the charge.
But Dan Denning, Bill’s coauthor on The Bill Bonner Letter, thinks the president might be on to something… Today, he previews the looming showdown between the federal government and America’s biggest corporations.
What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.
– Herbert Simon
On Wednesday, September 5, representatives from Twitter, Google, and Facebook will face members of Congress in Washington, D.C. in a new round of hearings about the conduct of Big Tech.
These hearings could lead to three different results: antitrust regulations to break up Silicon Valley giants… even more power for those same companies to censor speech on their respective platforms… or absolutely nothing, as Congress once again proves how incompetent and technologically illiterate it is.
If you’ve been following our research in The Bill Bonner Letter, then you already know our take: Big Tech is a threat to freedom of speech.
For investors – even for those who don’t own Big Tech stocks – it’s also a threat to what is now the longest bull market on record. When tech falls, for whatever reason, we believe it’s going to take the market with it.
But between now and then, what should you do?
There’s what you need to do with your money (which Bill and I have covered in the newsletter)… and then there’s what you need to do with something even more valuable: your time. That’s what I’m going to cover here.
But first, a lot has happened in the last 72 hours with this story. Let me get you up to speed. As usual these days, it starts with President Trump.
A Very Antitrust Situation
The president lined up Google in his sights in an interview with Bloomberg last Thursday. He said:
I won’t comment on the breaking up, of whether it’s that or Amazon or Facebook… As you know, many people think it is a very antitrust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that.
Later that same day, at a rally in Evansville, Indiana, the president said:
I’ve made it clear we as a country cannot tolerate political censorship, blacklisting, and rigged search results… We’re not going to let them control what we can and cannot see, read, and learn from…
Those comments followed tweets from earlier in the week where Trump said social media companies are “suppressing conservative voices” and that Google’s search results about him were rigged.
The president suggested this might be “illegal” and his economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the White House was “looking into the issue.”
Later in the week, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch published a letter he sent to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joseph Simons. Hatch went after Google, saying he found several of the company’s practices – including allowing third-party access to users’ Gmail data – to be “disquieting.”
He asked the FTC to “reconsider the competitive effect of Google’s conduct in search and digital advertising.”
This is the most direct antitrust language used yet, with respect to breaking up Big Tech the way Standard Oil and AT&T were broken up. You can expect to see bipartisan support for this position as the midterm elections heat up.
Big Tech is a big target right now. And the way it’s handling itself isn’t helping.