The House Judiciary subcommittee released its findings and recommendations after a 16-month inquiry into big tech antitrust practices. The recommendations from the majority staff of the antitrust subcommittee include restructuring some of the businesses by imposing separations from their dominant online platform.
Other recommendations from the committee:
- Mergers by big tech should be presumed to be anticompetitive, and the merging parties should prove that the deal would not harm competition.
- Dominant platforms should be prohibited from providing preferences for their products and services. Big tech should offer non-discriminatory terms for similar products and services.
- The services offered by big tech should be compatible with various networks to facilitate Interoperability and data portability.
- Allowing private individuals to hold big tech companies accountable through the courts can also limit the dominant platform's power. To assist in this, Democrats want to eliminate forced arbitration clauses or limits on class action lawsuits. They also want to create clear standards regarding antitrust standards in this industry, allowing for additional prosecutions.
- Problematic precedents in antitrust cases would be overridden.
Big Tech's response:
- The committee noted that Amazon is the dominant online marketplace, as it controls 65-70% of all U.S. online sales. It also added that Amazon acts as the gatekeeper for e-commerce. Amazon wrote a blog post in response, stating: "Misguided interventions in the free market would kill off independent retailers and punish consumers."
- According to the committee, Apple gains its durable market power from high switching costs, ecosystem lock-in, and brand loyalty. It also added that Apple maintains a monopoly in the app distribution services in Apple's devices. Apple released a statement mentioning that it "vehemently disagrees" with the committee's remarks. It also noted that it doesn't have a dominant market share in any of its business categories.
- Google overwhelmingly dominates the online search market by capturing 87% of U.S. search and 92% of global search queries. Google suggested in its response post that antitrust law should be used to protect consumers, not aid Google's commercial rivals.
- The committee also said that Facebook wields its monopoly powers by acquiring, copying, or killing its competitors. Facebook has yet to release a statement on the report.