Sci-tech

Tech giants' anticompetitive practices investigation - United States lawmakers report their findings

Tech giants' anticompetitive practices investigation - United States lawmakers report their findings”

The antitrust subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee recommended that Alphabet Inc's GOOGL.O Google, Apple Inc AAPL.O , Amazon.com AMZN.O and Facebook FB.O - with a combined market value of over $5 trillion - should not both control and compete in related businesses. "Our economy and democracy are at stake". The report said Amazon and Apple have "significant and durable market power" in the US online retail market, and in mobile operating systems and mobile app stores, respectively.

A Google spokesman said: "We disagree with today's reports, which feature outdated and inaccurate allegations from commercial rivals about Search and other services". The report finds that the four tech giants engaged in anticompetitive and monopolistic behavior to gain their positions as dominant companies.

Google said in a statement that it competes "fairly in a fast-moving and highly competitive industry".

Google fell 2.2% to $1,451.02, Apple dropped 2.9% to $113.16, Amazon fell 3.1% to $3099.96 and Facebook was down 2.3% to $258.66 at 4:12 p.m.in NY.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook had "monopoly power" in the market for social networking, which it maintained by using its data advantage to "acquire, copy or kill" nascent threats.

The strategy has meant that Facebook confronts competitive pressure only "from within its own family of products-such as through Instagram competing with Facebook or WhatsApp competing with Messenger-rather than actual competition from other firms in the market", the report said.

Some critics of the companies have singled out Facebook's Instagram and WhatsApp services and Google's YouTube and Android cellphone operating system as among the businesses that should be considered for divestiture. "Regulators thoroughly reviewed each deal and rightly did not see any reason to stop them at the time".

More news: Wealth of billionaires rises to $10.2 trillion amid coronavirus crisis

"As they exist today, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook each possess significant market power over large swaths of our economy", said Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) in a joint statement.

Apple said, "Scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate but we vehemently disagree with the conclusions".

"The fact that third parties having the opportunity to sell right alongside a retailer's products is the very competition that most benefits consumers and has made the marketplace model so successful for third-party sellers", the company said in a blog post. "And yet, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, those fallacies are at the core of regulatory spit-balling on antitrust".

The antitrust panel will take up the majority report after the October recess for formal adoption and will have a vote on it, the counsels for the committee said.

"Many of the factual findings detailed in the report are undeniable", Buck wrote.

Additionally, the panel recommended overriding "problematic precedents" in antitrust case law; increasing the budget of the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department's antitrust division; requiring the FTC to collect data on concentration; and strengthening private enforcement by nixing forced arbitration clauses and limits on class action lawsuits.

Imposing structural separations and prohibiting dominant platforms from entering adjacent lines of business.

Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other tech giants are increasingly coming under antitrust scrutiny, with high-profile sentences in the European Union, cries for alternative app distribution platforms in India, and today's Google vs. Oracle Supreme Court hearing in the U.S.



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