Congress says Big Tech wields monopoly power
An investigation by Congress has found Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple have “monopoly power” that they have abused.
CNN’s Brian Fung reported:
A 16-month congressional investigation into Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook has found that the tech giants hold “monopoly power” in key business segments and have abused their dominance in the marketplace, in a full-throated condemnation of the giants.
The findings set the stage for possible future legislation designed to rein in Big Tech, even as antitrust enforcers at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission gear up for potential litigation against some of the companies.
Cecilia Kang and David McCabe from the New York Times wrote:
To amend the inequities, the lawmakers recommended restoring competition by effectively breaking up the companies, emboldening the agencies that police market concentration and throwing up hurdles for the companies to acquire start-ups. They also proposed reforming antitrust laws, in the biggest potential shift since the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 created stronger reviews of big mergers.
The BBC commented:
US tech companies have faced increased scrutiny in Washington over their size and power in recent years. The investigation by the House Judiciary Committee is just one of multiple probes firms such as Facebook and Apple are facing.
The 449-page report, penned by committee staff, accused the companies of charging high fees, forcing smaller customers into unfavourable contracts and of using “killer acquisitions” to hobble rivals.
“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,” it said.