House Democrats say tech companies have monopoly that needs broken up

Sunday, 11 Oct, 2020

The report criticized government antitrust agencies for failing to investigate all but one acquisition among hundreds of deals by the big four digital companies in the last decade.

In addition to proposing separations of some dominant tech platforms from the companies' other businesses, the report also calls for the platforms to be required to offer equal terms for equal products and services for all users. 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.

We have always said that scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate but we vehemently disagree with the conclusions reached in this staff report with respect to Apple.

The report found that Google had monopoly power in the search engine market, Facebook had monopoly power in the social networking market, while Amazon and Apple had "significant and durable" market power in USA online retail, and in mobile operating systems and app stores.

It is still a long way off for the report to the spun into an act of congress. Reuters noted that if the presidential elections are won by Joe Biden, the Democratic majority in the House might keep pressuring Congress to act on the findings and introduce a revamped antitrust law.

Federal Trade Commission on Facebook: FTC officials probing Facebook have asked about past acquisitions, like Instagram and WhatsApp, and how Facebook treats app developers on its platform.

But the BBC's Disinformation Reporter Marianna Spring tells Tech Tent that the crackdown may have come too late for many who have disappeared down the Qanon rabbit hole.

Responding to the allegations in the report, Apple said the App Store provided $138bn in sales in the United States, of which 85pc went to third-party developers.

The report culminates in a series of legislative proposals to enhance antitrust laws, congressional oversight and fair practices.

Among other tech giants, Google has said in a blog post that its antitrust investigation into Facebook features outdated and inaccurate allegations from commercial rivals.

But Prof Furman says the big news is that the report calls for a change in an American approach to competition policy - or antitrust as it's known in the U.S. - which has assumed there is no problem, as long as consumers are not paying higher prices in the short term.

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

Washington is finally ready to turn up the heat on Silicon Valley.

"But if 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".

The report also goes into detail as to how companies did everything in their power to dominate the competitors in order to control large portions of the Internet. A bipartisan coalition of 50 US states and territories, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, also has been investigating Google's business practices.