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  • These are the 5 most valuable companies in America.

  • Notice anything?

  • They're all tech companies.

  • And their dominance is attracting attention from watchdog groups that say their market

  • power is harming competition and the economy.

  • Is it time to breakup big tech?

  • To answer that, you have to understand how tech has exploded.

  • For our purposes let's imagine the top 5 tech giants as Pacman, or "Pac-companies."

  • Except in this game, there are no ghosts around to avoidno Blinky, no Clyde,

  • Those ghosts are U.S. regulators.

  • For the past decade, the U.S. has been mostly hands off with big tech companies, letting them become even bigger

  • by swallowing smaller rivals or entering new markets.

  • Bloomberg data show that in the last 10 years the big 5 have made close to 500 acquisitions

  • worth about $140 billion.

  • Because consumers like the companies' products, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google

  • have developed huge market shares.

  • For example, Amazon receives about 93% of all e-book sales.

  • Google pulls in about 78% of internet search ad spending in the U.S.

  • Similarly, Apple and Facebook dominate in high-end smartphones and social media traffic.

  • But being a monopoly isn't illegal in the U.S... Or most other countries.

  • Regulators stopped equating big with bad a long time ago.

  • Monopoly cases brought by the U.S. have also dwindled.

  • In fact, the last high-profile case was filed in 1998, when the justice department successfully

  • challenged Microsoft's dominance of computer operating systems.

  • And that 20-year dry spell in monopoly cases has led some watchdogs to say that enforcement

  • in the U.S. has become too timid.

  • They say big tech is hurting innovation, jobs and wages,

  • and some even blame the behemoths for a decline in successful startups.

  • In Europe, America's big tech companies have faced more resistance with governments

  • more aggressively pursuing them.

  • For example, the E.U. has fined Google for abusing its market dominance and Germany is

  • investigating Facebook for its privacy practices.

  • Of course, the big tech players don't think they need to be broken up.

  • They argue their dominance isn't guaranteed because new competitors can easily

  • jump in.

  • As Google likes to point out, competition is justone click away.”

These are the 5 most valuable companies in America.

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