Thursday April 2, 2020

Breaking up Big Tech is a very 21st-century problem

The parallels between Mark Zuckerberg and John D Rockefeller are plentiful, but the Facebook founder is unlikely to have the last laugh like the 1920s oil baron did

23rd February, 2020
2
Mark Zuckerberg: the charge sheet against Facebook is increasingly severe, and its founder is proving inept at rebutting it. Picture:

Just over a century ago, as oil was becoming the world’s most valuable and essential commodity, US regulators decided to use newly legislated powers to break up Standard Oil. It was the original oil “major”, and a huge and unaccountable enterprise often accused of monopolistic behaviour. Oil, argued the regulators – backed by US president Theodore Roosevelt – was too important to the economy to be controlled by one company.

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