The David-and-Goliath relationship between big tech companies and small tech companies battles on.
In a report by Business Insider, multiple smaller tech companies appeared at a hearing by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law to call for stricter regulations against larger tech companies, specifically for those that rule the market. Those smaller companies, including Sonos, Tile, Basecamp, and Popsockets, claimed that Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple “used their dominance in one market to cripple competition in its emerging products and tilt the field in their favors for its other product lines.”
During the hearing, members of the smaller tech companies gave examples of how the larger companies are dominating the market:
- Tile, which makes small Bluetooth trackers to help customers find their keys, wallets and phones, claimed that Apple set up tough regulations that allegedly drained its resources, and is “acting as a gatekeeper to applications and technologies in a way that favors its own interests.”
- Sonos, which sells sound systems, sued Google for allegedly infringing on five of its patents. It also claimed that Google pressured it to enable its speakers to only sync with Google Assistant, instead of being able to offer Amazon’s Alexa.
- Popsockets, which sells accessories for cell phones, accused Amazon for “failing to remove counterfeit products,” and for “pressuring it to lower prices;” additionally, Popsockets said that Amazon allegedly threatened to source similar products from third-party sellers.
- Basecamp, a software company, claimed that other companies are unable to compete against Facebook’s powerful ad system because of its access to customers’ data, alluding to its violations of customers’ privacy.
Big Bad Bullies
Based on the accusations of the above smaller companies, it seems like Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple are reigning the tech industry as bullies. Bringing examples of this bullying to court may shed light on the unfairness of how the industry is being run, and may hopefully spark government leadership to revise regulations to make the market a even playing field despite a company’s size.
There’s a good chance that government regulations would actually make everyone happy; they could give the little guys a boost and a better chance at upping their business.
And, it’s unclear if those regulations would negatively impact the tech giants. Just because laws are altered to give every business a fair chance to compete, doesn’t mean Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and other big businesses won’t still dominate. With that in mind, what are big companies afraid of? Their brands and products are well-loved and utilized worldwide already; it’s likely new laws won’t minimize their success. If their businesses are that successful, why don’t they welcome smaller competitors to the ring, and worry about picking on someone their own size?