After 16 months of investigation, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States Congress has concluded that the four largest technology companies in the country – Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook – “they have too much power, and that power must be controlled and subject to appropriate supervision and enforcement.” The report represents the largest government effort to rein in the world’s biggest technology companies since the government sued Microsoft for antitrust violations in the 1990s. The 449-page report prepared by the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives presented this Tuesday shows that the technological ‘Big Four’ have gone from being “badass” start-ups to becoming “the kind of monopolies that we last saw in the era of oil and railroad barons.” Investigators from the antitrust subcommittee collected more than 1 million documents from the four companies. The research is also based on hundreds of interviews with academics, leaders entrepreneurs and even many of Big Tech’s rivals under scrutiny, including some Fortune 500 companies concerned about the power of the tech giants. The conclusion legislators have reached is that Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook they had abused their dominant positions, setting “and often dictating” prices and rules for e-commerce, online search and advertising, social media, and digital publishing. For example, the investigation reveals that Google used its search engine to find out which browsers were the most popular, “and that informed its strategy for Chrome.” For its part, Facebook, according to the report, has maintained “a unassailable position in the network market for nearly a decade” and has solidified its power through a series of targeted acquisitions designed to weed out potential rivals. This strategy implies that Facebook faces competitive pressure only “from within its own product family, such as through Instagram competing with Facebook or WhatsApp competing with Messenger, rather than actual competition from other companies in the market.” “said the report. Lawmakers vow to toughen laws “These firms have too much power, and that power must be controlled and subject to proper oversight and enforcement,” the report concludes. “Our economy and democracy are at stake“. “Our investigation leaves no doubt that there is a clear and pressing need for Congress and antitrust enforcement agencies to take action that will restore competition, enhance innovation and protect our democracy.” So forceful were Jerrold Nadler, a Democratic representative from New York and chairman of the judiciary committee, and David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island and chairman of the antitrust subcommittee, when they presented the findings of the investigation. The members of this bipartisan commission they also recommended reforming antitrust laws in the biggest legislative change since the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 established stricter reviews to regulate large mergers. However, the divisions between the democratic and republican members of the investigation commission have not been long in coming. One of the proposed measures that has raised the most blisters is to restore competition through the effective division or “structural separation” of companies. This proposal, championed by Democrats, would unleash a series of legal changes that could substantially restructure Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. Democrats also suggested barring them from operating in businesses similar to those in which they already hold a dominant position and demanding clearer rules that could block tech giants’ attempts to buy other companies. Although some Republicans agreed with proposals to beef up funding for antitrust enforcement agencies, Conservatives opposed calls for Congress to intervene in restructuring of companies and their business models. Others like Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have refused to endorse any of the Democrats’ findings and recommendations, saying the report was “partisan” and that the committee had failed to address anecdotal accusations by conservatives that platforms online were biased against their views. This “ultimately discredits the conclusions of the preliminary report,” according to Jordan. deny abuse of power In a post on their corporate blog, Amazon pointed out on Tuesday that “fringe antitrust notions would destroy small businesses and would harm consumers. Misguided interventions in the free market would kill off independent retailers and punish consumers by driving small businesses out of popular online stores, raising prices, and reducing consumer choice and convenience.” “Facebook is an American success story,” spokesman Christopher Sgro told CNBC. According to Sgro “Instagram and WhatsApp have reached new heights of success because Facebook has invested billions in those businesses. A fiercely competitive landscape existed at the time of both acquisitions and exists today. Regulators thoroughly reviewed each deal and rightfully so, they saw no reason to stop them at the time.” Apple has vehemently disagreed, saying in a statement to Recode that it does not have a dominant market share with any of its business segments. “Competition drives innovation, and innovation has always defined us at Apple,” the company said. “We work tirelessly to offer the best products to our customers, with security and privacy at their core, and we will continue to do so.”
The US Congress denounces the monopoly of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple and promises a strong hand to end “abuse”
20-02-2022, 12:192 Mins read0 bình luận
The investigative committee has highlighted the importance of modifying the legislation and the four technology companies have denied the abuse of power.