A recent report from top Democratic Congressional lawmakers has determined that tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google engage in anti-competitive behavior. According to the report, “To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.”
Recode reports that a report from top Democratic Congressional lawmakers about the Masters of the Universe including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google, has determined that the companies engage in a range of anti-competitive behavior and that antitrust laws must be overhauled to reign them in.
The introduction to the report states: “To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.”
The report, which is about 400 pages long, was written by the majority staff of the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust. It is the culmination of a 16-month investigation into whether tech firms abuse their power and whether the country’s antitrust laws need to be adjusted to better regulate the tech industry.
The report cites numerous examples of tech firms engaging in acts that the lawmakers believe could have a negative effect on innovation and could impede competition. The behaviors cited vary between companies but all are linked by allegations that the four tech giants abuse their powers as gatekeepers of certain internet industries to secure and grow their power in those sectors.
Democratic lawmakers are recommending the creation of new laws that could potentially break up tech companies making git harder for them to pursue acquisitions. The report further calls for the clarification of existing antitrust laws with the aim of making them easier to enforce. The report’s recommendations are currently only guidance to Congress for potential future legislation.
FTC Commissioner William Kovacic, who was appointed by George W. Bush, told Recode: “This is the first time since the 1970s that a congressional committee has devoted this kind of attention to dominant firms … and changing the structure of a major American industry.”
Read more at Recode here.