Big Tech has a monopoly on power, says US House report

Sunday, 11 Oct, 2020

The findings are the culmination of a 16-month investigation into the practices of Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon to see whether there was any clear antitrust violations and evidence of having unfair control of the tech market.

The scrutiny surrounding big tech companies have been a growing issue in 2019.

As expected, the 449-page report was highly critical of the market power amassed by the four tech giants whose combined market value still tops $5 trillion, even after the market's sharp selloff over the last month. None of the above deals add any significant revenues to the companies' existing business lines, but the report still argued that such moves "strengthens their market power and can close off market entry". Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business.

Tons of information is included in this report, needless to say. Experts say it's a bold and creative legal theory that could revolutionize how antitrust scholars think about competition in a digital world. The report's recommendations would be a massive regulatory shakeup for the industry.

Responding to the report, NAB Pres./CEO GORDON SMITH said, "NAB thanks Chairman (DAVID) CICILLINE (D-RI) and the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee for its important investigation into the dominant competitive power of digital technology platforms".

The tech giants have railed against the report claiming competition is alive and well in the markets they dominate.

According to the House panel's report on Tuesday, the committee received an email from an unnamed former Instagram employee on Sunday that disputed Facebook's contention that the two apps could not easily be separated.

Democrats are advocating for direct intervention through law changes that would force "structural separations" of the companies and prevent them from favouring their own products.

Google took issue with both reports, saying they contain "outdated and inaccurate allegations from commercial rivals" about Google's search engine and other services.

Spokespeople for Apple didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Washington is finally ready to turn up the heat on Silicon Valley. Its staff pored over more than a million internal documents from the companies.

"But it the goal is to benefit consumers, which has until now been the standard for antitrust policy, it is hard to see how this would do anything but invite regulators to micromanage business models".

"But large companies are not dominant by definition, and the presumption that success can only be the result of anti-competitive behaviour is simply wrong", it said. They have cited "potential monopolistic behavior". It maintains that its services face ample competition and have unleashed innovations that help people manage their lives.

The four businessmen were in the crosshairs of politicians, who accused Amazon of forcing sellers on its platform to conform to its standards or disappear; Google from appropriating content from others; Apple for discriminating against developers, and Facebook for having an acquisition strategy created to eliminate competition.