The four Big Tech members – Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook – received another tongue-lashing centered on antitrust concerns from Congressional members alarmed by the companies’ outsize market power.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law held the first in a planned series of hearings to “consider legislative proposals to address the rise and abuse of market power online and to modernize the antitrust laws.”
“This problem is a cancer that is metastasizing across our economy and our country,” Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., chairman of the subcommittee, said in an opening statement. “Mark my words: Change is coming. Laws are coming.”
MacDailyNews Take: For Google and Facebook, great! But, we’ll believe it when we see it.
The hearings are intended to build on the committee’s 16-month bipartisan investigation into competition online, with particular emphasis on the business practices of Google parent Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and Apple Inc. The Justice Department and state attorneys general have sued Google over its dominant search business, while the FTC has sued Facebook for “illegally maintaining its personal social networking monopoly through a yearslong course of anticompetitive conduct.”
The scrutiny doesn’t end this week or month, for that matter. The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced that Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey will testify in a March 25 hearing on misinformation online.
MacDailyNews Take: Of these four “Big Tech” firms, Apple should not be lumped in the antitrust discussion with the likes of Alphabet/Google or Facebook which actually do have effective monopolies (which is legal, by the way) and who are also very likely abusing them (which is subject to any antitrust reform remedies).
The fact is that Apple has no monopoly in smartphones, or in any other market in which it competes, so Apple is incapable of committing monopoly abuse.
• Android: 71.93%
• iOS: 27.47%
• Windows: 76.26%
• macOS: 16.91%
I don’t think anybody reasonable is going to come to the conclusion that Apple is a monopoly. Our share is much more modest. We don’t have a dominant position in any market… We are not a monopoly. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, June 2019
As for Google, the biggest offender in “Big Tech,” we’ve love to see the imposition of any remedies that restore competition to online search and online advertising.
If you haven’t already, give DuckDuckGo a try! https://duckduckgo.com
With this unprecedented power, platforms have the ability to redirect into their pockets the advertising dollars that once went to newspapers and magazines. No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t. — MacDailyNews, November 9, 2017
We’d like to see real competition in the online search and advertising markets restored someday. — MacDailyNews, March 20, 2019