July 30, 2020
Continuing a Principled Approach to Antitrust
Yesterday a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing with the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook examining dominance in the online advertising and search markets. While many members were eager to use antitrust laws against these companies, many of the concerns they raised were not related to competition policy and would not be solved by antitrust enforcement, observes AAF’s Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Jennifer Huddleston. In an analysis of the hearing, Huddleston examines several of the legitimate antitrust concerns that did emerge and notes the limitations and benefits of current antitrust law.
Not only do current antitrust laws work for dynamic markets, any changes to these laws could have consequences on numerous markets beyond technology and open the door for the use of competition law for more political purposes. Antitrust action based on either an incomplete analysis or a non-competition issue could prevent consumers from receiving the benefits of acquisition and could spread to other industries that might one day find themselves the subject of political ire. To ensure the U.S. economy remains a leader in innovation—in other words, to ensure that competitors to the largest tech companies can emerge—it remains critical that competition policy and antitrust enforcement remain reserved for their intended objective purposes.