August 26, 2020
Tech Policy and the 2020 Election, Part 3 – Antitrust and Big Tech
Recent criticism of large tech companies’ market dominance has raised the possibility of using antitrust to address these concerns, and both President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have indicated that they would consider more aggressive antitrust enforcement. In a new insight, AAF’s Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Jennifer Huddleston outlines the arguments from both the left and the right for using antitrust against Big Tech, as well as each candidate’s proposals. She also explains how any shift away from the consumer welfare standard could impact consumers and innovation.
The current approach to antitrust is principled and objective with a focus correctly on consumers. As a result, it is a tool to allow competitive markets to continue to flourish while providing a principled mode of correction when anti-competitive behavior arises. Such a standard is adaptable to fast-moving, innovative fields as well as more traditional markets. As conversations around antitrust and Big Tech are likely to continue under either a Trump or Biden Administration, proposed changes to antitrust would likely bring with them new problems as well as fail to cure existing ones.