Tag: innovationstifling

06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

US antitrust probe finds ‘alarming pattern’ of innovation-stifling practices

The United States House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee has wrapped up its probe into Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google, with its 450-page report [PDF], making a slate of recommendations, including those it said would strengthen antitrust laws and restore competition in the digital economy.

“As they exist today, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook each possess significant market power over large swaths of our economy,” Judiciary Subcommittee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) said in a statement.

“In recent years, each company has expanded and exploited their power of the marketplace in anticompetitive ways.

“Our investigation leaves no doubt that there is a clear and compelling need for Congress and the antitrust enforcement agencies to take action that restores competition, improves innovation, and safeguards our democracy.”

The subcommittee kicked off its inquiries over 16 months ago. Democrat Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said investigations led the subcommittee to the conclusion that self-regulation by Big Tech comes at the expense of communities, small businesses, consumers, the free press, and innovation.

“Our investigation revealed an alarming pattern of business practices that degrade competition and stifle innovation,” Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL) added.

“These companies have made remarkable advancements that have shaped our markets and our culture, but their anticompetitive acts have come at a cost … competition must reward the best idea, not the biggest corporate account.”

Although not agreeing on who was to blame for allowing “Big Tech” to achieve near-monopoly status, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) agreed that these “predatory companies” have used their vast size to unfairly harm competition and consumers.  

On Facebook, the subcommittee said it found evidence of “monopolisation and monopoly power” in the social networking market. It also said that of its nearly-100 acquisitions, the Federal Trade Commission engaged in an extensive investigation of just