Separating platforms from services which run on them sounds elegant. But how would one divvy up all the data the tech giants have collected? What is part of the platform and what is not? What happens if the lines between them move? Instantmessaging could be described as a feature of a social-networking platform but also a separate service. The case against Microsoft was triggered when it bundled its Windows operating system with its web browser, which were then separate pieces of software. Today, browsers are usually considered part of an operating system.
将平台与在其上运行的服务分开听起来很优雅 。但如何分配这些科技巨头收集的所有数据呢？什么是平台的一部分，什么不是？如果它们之间的线移动会发生什么？即时通讯可以被描述为社交网络平台的一项功能，但也是一项独立的服务 。这起针对微软的诉讼是在微软将其Windows操作系统与其网络浏览器捆绑在一起时引发的，当时这两款浏览器是不同的软件 。今天，浏览器通常被认为是操作系统的一部分 。
Third, the fear of unintended consequences will act as a brake on break-ups. Ms Warren’s plan was in part inspired by Lina Khan, a legal scholar, who in 2017 published an influential paper entitled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” and now advises the antitrust subcommittee of the House of Representatives in its investigation of Big Tech. But in a more recent paper she lists several drawbacks to heavy regulation. Quickly evolving technology can make break-ups obsolete. Because they introduce friction, they could lead to higher prices. If they are limited in what they can do, platforms may cut investment, thus slowing innovation. Although she identifies these drawbacks she says they are “not a compelling argument for inaction”.
第三，对意外后果的恐惧将成为分开的刹车 。沃伦的计划在一定程度上受到了法律学者莉娜•可汗的启发 。她在2017年发表了一篇颇具影响力的论文，题为《亚马逊的反垄断悖论》 。但在最近的一篇论文中，她列出了严厉监管的几个弊端 。快速发展的技术可能让分裂变得过时 。因为它们带来了摩擦，可能导致价格更高 。如果它们的能力有限，平台可能会削减投资，从而减缓创新 。尽管她指出了这些缺陷，但她表示，这“不是无所作为的有力理由” 。
What is more, break-ups alone will not suffice to tame big tech. Harold Feld at Public Knowledge, a left-leaning think-tank, notes the “starfish problem”. Some starfish have incredible powers of regeneration: tear them up and the pieces quickly grow into complete new creatures. Similarly, one part of a tech giant could become dominant again because of network effects. Break-ups, he argues, need to be complemented by regulation that weakens this effect, for instance with requirements that a user of one instant-messaging service can exchange texts with another.
更重要的是，单靠拆分不足以驯服大型科技公司 。左倾智库“公共知识”的哈罗德•菲尔德指出了“海星问题” 。 有些海星有令人难以置信的再生能力：被撕碎后，碎片会迅速长成全新的生物 。同样，由于网络效应，科技巨头的一部分可能会再次占据主导地位 。他认为，分开需要辅以削弱这种影响的监管措施，比如要求一个即时通讯服务的用户可以与另一个用户交换短信 。