The goal of the lesson(s) is to have students gain a basic understanding of the core arguments on the topic. Depending on the time available to you, you can work with the students over 1-3 courses.
The objective of the lesson(s) is to have students gain an understanding of critical topic concepts.
Common Core Learning Standards
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
The following can be done in class or during class
(a) Have the students watch the topic videos and answer the questions
(b) Have the students read the topic articles and answer the questions
Note: Both the lectures and the readings cover the same material.
The following can be done during class
(a) Review the lecture material using the topic Power Point. If you have access to the students’ answers to the questions, you can pay particular attention to any area of weakness
(b) Use higher order questions to stimulate a discussion
(c) Help students make an outline for the Pro and Con constructive speeches
Acquisition. An acquisition is when one company acquires another.
Antitrust. Antitrust is the idea that no business should be able to acquire too much economic power and that if it does it should be broken up by low.
Competition. Competition is the idea that businesses can compete with each other on a fair playing field.
Consumer. A consumer is the purchaser of goods
Commerce. Commerce is the buying and selling of goods.
Entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is someone who starts a business.
Human Resources (HR). HR deals with the management of employees
Merger. A merger occurs when two companies come together.
Monopoly. A monopoly happens when one company controls a massive amount of the space in a particular part of the economy.
Chicago School. The Chicago School argued that as long as prices are kept low that there is no harm to monopolization.
Answers to Intro Lecture Questions
(1) How are “Technology Giants/Big Tech? defined?
(a) Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Google
(b) Having a value of over $500 billion
(c) None of the above
(2) What is antitrust?
(a) a lack of trust
(b) A reduction in trust
(c) A monopoly
(d) None of the above
(3) What are two planks of Warren’s plan to enforce antitrust against the Technology Giants?
(a) Can’t operate in another business space, can’t sell your own goods if you own a platform valued at $25 billion+
(b) Can’t have more than $100 billion in revenue
(c) Cannot monopolize an entire business space
(d) None of the above
(4) What two important framework argument(s) on this topic?
(a) Price and economic concentration
(c) Economic concentration
(d) Neither of the above
(5) What problems did Standard Oil create?
(a) It sold a lot of oil
(b) It monopolized the oil sector
(c) It purchased industries outside of its area of primary business
(d) All of the above
(e) b & c
(6) Why is antitrust relevant to Big Tech?
(a) Big Tech purchases industries outside of their own core industry
(b) Big Tech controls all of their own market space
(c) Big Tech makes a lot of money
(d) A & B
(e) All of the above
(7) Name the law(s) that are relevant to antitrust
(a) Sherman Act
(b) Clayton Act
(c) FTC Act
(d) A & B
(e) None of the above
(f) All of the above
Higher Order Questions
Why is concentrated economic power a threat to democracy?
Concentrated economic power allows large companies to make outsized donations to political candidates. It allows them to spend outsized amounts of money on lobbying. In some instances (Facebook), it allows them to control how messaging is delivered in the Facebook feed.
How is Amazon similar to Standard Oil?
(1) Amazon monopolies a substantial amount of the economic space in its area (e-commerce)
(2) Amazon buys other companies outside its area
If someone ask you in crossfire what “big tech” is, how would you explain it?
“Big Tech” are large internet companies such as Facebook and Amazon. Elizabeth Warren defines them as ecommerce platforms that have revenue of more than $25 billion.
If someone asked you in crossfire what “antitrust “ is, how would you explain it?
“Antitrust” refers to the idea that a company controls so much space in the market that it creates a monopoly.
Explain up to three reasons why anti-trust should be applied to big tech
- Concentrated economic power disrupts politics
- Companies that control most of their economic space can raise prices
- Companies that control most of their space can harm consumers in non-price ways.
Explain up to three reasons why anti-trust should not be applied to big tech
- It will reduce US international competitiveness
- Consumers like to use single platforms
- The current situation enables low prices
Students might offer different answers to these questions, but these are some answers
Answers to Pro Lecture Questions
(1) What are the primary advantages to applying antitrust laws to Big Tech?
(a) privacy, monopolization, competitiveness
(b) privacy, monopolization
(c) None of the above
(2) What frameworks (s) support the Pro?
(a) Wealth concentration
Answers to Con Lecture Questions
(1) Which arguments are all answers to the monopolization advantage/contention?
(a) Companies don’t control all of their market space, market space is hard to define, Big Tech prices are low, consumers are happy
(b) Companies don’t control all of their market space, market space is hard to define, Big Tech prices are low, consumers are angry
(b) Companies don’t control all of their market space, IBM was not declared a monopoly, Big Tech prices are low, consumers are angry
(d) Companies don’t really have that much revenue, market space is hard to define, Big Tech prices are low, consumers are happy
(2) Which arguments are all answers to the privacy advantage/contention?
(a) Companies don’t monopolize information, data would get collected anyway, antitrust hurts privacy
(b) Privacy is bad, monopolies are good, privacy is good, antitrust isn’t relevant to privacy
(c) Privacy isn’t that important, data would get collected anyway, antitrust isn’t relevant to privacy, privacy is bad
(d) Breaking up monopolies is bad, privacy is bad, privacy isn’t that important, companies don’t monopolize information.
(3) Which arguments are reasons it is bad to break-up Big Tech?
(a) It would lower prices, it would increase prices, large platforms are convenient, people like Big Tech
(b) It would increase prices, large platforms are convenient, people like Big Tech, government shouldn’t intervene in the market
(c) People would be angry, the government can’t figure out how to effectively regulate, large platforms are convenient, there are no antitrust laws
(d) It would increase prices, large platforms are convenient, people like Big Tech, it would increase international competitiveness
(4) What are the contentions the Con will need to be prepared to answer?
(a) Privacy and monopolization
(b) Competitiveness, privacy, monopolization
(5) What framework argument(s) support the Con?
(a) Wealth concentration bad
(b) Low prices good