Amazon warns of antitrust impact on consumers and small business

Sunday, 11 Oct, 2020

The 450-page report from the subcommittee's Democratic leaders concludes a 16-month investigation into Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple as the operators of major online markets.

The existing infrastructures are awful, and the scathing case against Big Tech will only crystallize these issues for a global audience of tens of millions. Which means that the Democratic workers recommends options together with forcing tech firms to be damaged up or imposing enterprise buildings that make totally different strains of enterprise functionally separate from the mother or father firm.

Describing how the firms "have exploited, entrenched and expanded their power over digital markets in anticompetitive and abusive ways", the report asked if "this pattern of behaviour raises questions about whether these firms view themselves as above the law, or whether they simply treat lawbreaking as a cost of business".

If implemented, the recommendations would have sweeping implications for Amazon's third-party e-commerce marketplace, one of the pillars of the Seattle tech company's business.

The release of the Democrats' report followed media reports earlier on Tuesday that the Democrats and Republicans were in disagreement over what to include in the final report.

Facebook, a platform repeatedly found to spread hate and misinformation, declared itself an "American success story".

Facebook said acquisitions "are part of every industry and just one way we innovate new technologies to deliver more value to people".

Although the Judiciary antitrust subcommittee's investigation was bipartisan, Republican lawmakers on the panel didn't sign on to most of the recommendations.

"A strongly competitive landscape existed at the time of [the Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions] and exists today".

The so-called blue wave would "make a formidable force going after antitrust law changes with breakups possibly on the radar", wrote Dan Ives, a New-York based analyst at Wedbush Securities.

Responding to the allegations in the report, Apple said the App Store provided $138bn in sales in the USA, of which 85pc went to third-party developers. Moreover, said Amazon, it is only a small fraction of the global online retail market and only has a 4% market share of the USA market.

In a statement, Google said that it disagreed with the conclusions of the report.

Apple declined to comment.

In its investigation over the past 15 months, the antitrust panel heard testimony from mid-level executives of the four companies as well as from competitors and legal experts.

Washington is finally ready to turn up the heat on Silicon Valley. However giant firms aren't dominant by definition, and the presumption that success can exclusively be the results of anti-competitive conduct is just fallacious.

Apple also disputed the report findings, stating that developers have benefited from Apple's App Store which has enabled new services and new markets in recent years.

Justice Department on Google: The U.S. Justice Department is expected to file a relatively narrow complaint within two weeks, which accuses Google of seeking to disadvantage rivals in search and in lucrative search advertising.