Tag: monopolies

06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

US Lawmakers Call For Shake-up Of Big Tech ‘Monopolies’

A House of Representatives panel in a report Tuesday accused four Big Tech firms of acting as “monopolies,” calling for sweeping changes to antitrust laws and enforcement that could potentially lead to breakups of the giant firms.

But the report by the House Judiciary Committee failed to win the endorsement of Republican members, highlighting a partisan divide despite widespread criticism of the tech giants.

The 449-page document concluded that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google “engage in a form of their own private quasi regulation that is unaccountable to anyone but themselves.”

“Companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the report said.

The report follows an investigation of more than 15 months and hearings this year with the top executives of the four firms, in parallel to antitrust probes being led by federal and state enforcers.

Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler and antitrust subcommittee chairman David Cicilline said in a joint statement that the tech firms “each possess significant market power over large swaths of our economy” and have “exploited their power of the marketplace in anticompetitive ways.”

The report suggests moves which could lead to breakups of the big firms, calling for “structural separations” to prohibit companies from competing on platforms they operate.

Also recommended was a requirement that platforms allow “interoperability” with competitors and regulations aimed at preventing acquisitions that hurt competition.

Amazon pushed back in a blog post, arguing that “the presumption that success can only be the result of anti-competitive behavior is simply wrong.”

“Amazon accounts for less than 1% of the $25 trillion global retail market and less than 4% of retail in the US. Unlike industries that are winner-take-all, retail has ample

06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Lawmakers Slam Big Tech ‘Monopolies’ In New Report

A House of Representatives panel said in a report Tuesday that four Big Tech firms are “monopolies” which abuse their market dominance and called for sweeping changes to antitrust laws and enforcement, which could potentially lead to breakups of the giant firms.

But the report by the staff of the House Judiciary Committee failed to win the endorsement of Republican members, highlighting a partisan divide despite widespread criticism of the tech giants.

The 449-page document concluded that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google “engage in a form of their own private quasi regulation that is unaccountable to anyone but themselves.”

“To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the report said.

The report comes after an investigation of more than 15 months and hearings this year with the top executives of the four firms, in parallel to antitrust probes being led by federal and state enforcers.

Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler and antitrust subcommittee chairman David Cicilline said in a joint statement that the tech firms “each possess significant market power over large swaths of our economy” and that all have “exploited their power of the marketplace in anticompetitive ways.”

The report suggests moves which could lead to breakups without offering details on doing so.

It calls for “structural separations” to prohibit companies from competing on platforms they operate.

A congressional report called for sweeping changes to antitrust laws and enforcement in response to the growing power of Big Tech firms, but Republican lawmakers declined to endorse the findings A congressional report called for sweeping changes to antitrust laws and enforcement in response to the growing power of Big Tech firms, but Republican lawmakers declined to endorse the findings Photo: AFP / DENIS CHARLET

Also recommended was a requirement that platforms allow “interoperability” with competitors and the establishment of a standard to halt acquisitions that hurt

06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

House Democrats push Congress to break up Big Tech monopolies

Congress should consider forcing the breakup of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google into smaller companies that can’t enter into adjacent lines of business (via NBC News). That’s the main recommendation of a 449-page Democrats on the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust published on Tuesday following the panel’s 16-month investigation into big tech that saw the CEOs from all four companies testify before Congress. They say all four companies enjoy monopolies in at least one of the verticals in which they operate.   

“During the investigation, Subcommittee staff found evidence of monopolization and monopoly power,” the report says. It goes on to argue the dominance of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google has “diminished consumer choice, eroded innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy, weakened the vibrancy of the free and diverse press and undermined Americans’ privacy.” 

Perhaps most notably, the report concludes Apple enjoys a monopoly in app distribution on iOS devices. “Apple leverages its control of iOS and the App Store to create and enforce barriers to competition and discriminate against and exclude rivals while preferencing its own offerings,” the report says. “Apple also uses its power to exploit app developers through misappropriation of competitively sensitive information and to charge app developers supra-competitive prices within the App Store.”

Apple’s control of the App Store is at the heart of the company’s ongoing legal feud with Fortnite developer Epic Games. In August, Epic bypassed the App Store with its Mega Drop promotion, giving mobile players the option to pay for the title’s in-game currency directly. When Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store, Epic launched a lawsuit against the company.

Among other recommendations, the report also suggests strengthing antitrust laws and requiring dominant tech companies to make their platforms compatible with the services from their competitors.

“The totality of the evidence