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Have the tech giants – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft – grown too big, rich and powerful for regulators and politicians ever to take them on?While that might be good news for the tech oligarchs, whether it is good for the economy is not clear.Still, one has to worry that the big five tech firms have become so dominant, so profitable and so encompassing that it has become difficult for startups to challenge them, thereby stifling innovation.Perhaps the most urgent intervention is to weaken Big Tech's grip on our personal data, a grip that allows Google and Facebook to develop targeted advertising tools that are taking over the marketing business.The European Union's new General Data Protection Regulation now requires firms to allow consumers – albeit only those in the EU – to port their data.In their important recent book Radical Markets, the economists Glen Weyl and Eric Posner go one step further and argue that Big Tech should have to pay for your data, instead of claiming it for their own use. Right now Big Tech is as much a part of the problem as it is a part of the solution.
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