Big Tech monopolies

Lesson plan overview

This lesson is dedicated to the topic of monopolies, and more specifically on the market power Big Tech companies such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft have. It can be used both in General English and Business English classes. Students will learn economic terms to talk about monopolies, will watch a short video, and will read about different ways governments can regulate big companies to avoid anti-competitive behaviour. You can combine this lesson with the worksheet “Idioms: competition”, or with other lessons in the category “Technology” or “Business”.

Speaking: The lesson starts with a discussion on the topic of monopolies, the consequences for the market and the consumers of monopolistic behaviour, and ways monopolies could be regulated or broken up.

Vocabulary: Students work on a few important economic terms (market share, market power, economic barriers to entry, economies of scale) by matching them to their definitions. To practise, they complete 4 sentences with the correct economic term. 

Reading: Students read about different anti-competitive behaviour monopolistic companies might engage in (price fixing, predatory pricing, exclusive dealing, etc.). They also complete a few phrases from the text to learn verbs that are used when talking about monopolies (stifle competition, hamper competition, drive competitors out of the market). Next, they are given a few practical examples, and are asked to decide what kind of monopolistic tactic is illustrated by each example. 

Speaking: Students talk about the Big Tech companies (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Meta) and whether they consider them to be monopolies.

Listening: Students watch a video “The rise of Big Tech monopolies from Microsoft to Google”, which is divided into 3 parts and take notes about different questions asked.

Reading and vocabulary: Students read descriptions of different measures governments can use to regulate monopolies and match the measures given to the correct description. Then they discuss real-life cases where these measures have been enforced, and the effectiveness of each measure.

Finally, students complete a vocabulary review task.

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Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

The tech giants seem to be in a lot of trouble lately.
Facebook is under investigation by the German competition authority on their data practices.
Fake news, privacy issues, consumer protection issues.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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