“Our investigation leaves no doubt that there is a clear and compelling need for Congress and the antitrust enforcement agencies to take action that restores competition, improves innovation, and safeguards our democracy.”– Rep. David Cicilline
After reviewing more than 1.3 million internal documents and interviewing more than 240 people and three dozen antitrust experts, and former employees of the major tech companies, the House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee wrapped up its 16-month investigation. The report concludes that Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook have exploited their power of the marketplace in anticompetitive ways.
“This investigation has revealed that Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google were committed to drowning out competition through unfair and anti-competitive practices – often doing so at the expense of user privacy and innovation…their anticompetitive acts have come at a cost for consumers and small businesses.”Rep. Val Demings
In its report, the subcommittee recommended the following actions be taken:
- Structural separations to prohibit platforms from operating in lines of business that depend on or interoperate with the platform;
- Prohibiting platforms from engaging in self-preferencing;
- Requiring platforms to make its services compatible with competing networks to allow for interoperability and data portability;
- Mandating that platforms provide due process before taking action against market participants;
- Establishing a standard to proscribe strategic acquisitions that reduce competition;
- Improvements to the Clayton Act, the Sherman Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act, to bring these laws into line with the challenges of the digital economy;
- Eliminating anticompetitive forced arbitration clauses;
- Strengthening the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice;
- And promoting greater transparency and democratization of the antitrust agencies.
“Our investigation revealed an alarming pattern of business practices that degrade competition and stifle innovation.”Rep. Val Demings
You can download the entire report here.