The leaders of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee said late on Tuesday that they had begun receiving data from Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, Amazon and Apple as part of their probe into the companies’ potential breaches of antitrust law.
The probe is one of several at the federal, state and congressional level aimed at determining if the companies use their considerable clout in the online market illegally to hurt rivals or otherwise break competition law.
The statement was from Representatives Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee; Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee; David Cicilline, chair of the antitrust subcommittee and Jim Sensenbrenner, the top Republican on the antitrust subcommittee.
MacDailyNews Take: The real problems where too much power is concentrated and the potential for abuse of their market power is greatest is clearly Google and Facebook, not Apple.
Since Apple does not have a monopoly in any market in which they participate, there is no legal basis for action against Apple Inc.
In the case of Apple, there is no monopoly (which is legal by the way), much less monopoly abuse (which is explicitly impossible given the nonexistence of a monopoly). You cannot abuse a monopoly when you do not have a monopoly to begin with.
Worldwide smartphone OS market share, September 2019:
• Android: 76.24%
• iOS: 22.48%
Here is the Collins, Nadler, Sensenbrenner, Cicilline statement on tech companies’ response to information request, verbatim:
Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee; Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law; and David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, released the following joint statement on Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook’s efforts to comply with the Judiciary Committee’s requests for information. The committee issued requests to each of the four companies as part of its investigation into competition in the digital markets.
“We have received initial submissions from Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook as part of our investigation. While we do not yet have all of the information we requested, we expect that all four companies will provide the information in short order. We look forward to their continued compliance with the committee’s investigation.
“The committee will review all of the information received from the companies in order to help inform next steps. We will hold additional hearings, discussions and roundtables as our investigation continues.”
Source: U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins