House Judiciary Committee Releases 449 Page Report on 'Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets'

House Judiciary Committee Releases 449 Page Report on 'Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets'

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The House Judiciary Committee has released a 449 page report on its 'Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets'.

As expected, the investigation found that today's big tech companies (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google) have become monopolies.

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. Although these firms have delivered clear benefits to society, the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google has come at a price. These firms typically run the marketplace while also competing in it—a position that enables them to write one set of rules for others, while they play by another, or to engage in a form of their own private quasi regulation that is unaccountable to anyone but themselves.

House Judiciary Committee Releases 449 Page Report on 'Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets'

We haven't had a chance to read the full report as of yet; however, we've included the recommendations outlined below. You can read the full report here. Please download the iClarified app or follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and RSS for updates.


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In response to this request, Subcommittee staff identified a broad set of reforms for further examination by the Members of the Subcommittee for purposes of crafting legislative responses to the findings of this Report. These reforms include proposals to: (1) address anticompetitive conduct in digital markets; (2) strengthen merger and monopolization enforcement; and (3) improve the sound administration of the antitrust laws through other reforms. We intend these recommendations to serve as a complement to vigorous antitrust enforcement. Consistent with the views expressed by Chairman Nadler and Subcommittee Chairman Cicilline in the Foreword to this Report, we view these recommendations as complements, and not substitutes, to forceful antitrust enforcement.

For ease of reference, these recommendations for further examination are summarized below.

a. Restoring Competition in the Digital Economy
• Structural separations and prohibitions of certain dominant platforms from operating in adjacent lines of business;
• Nondiscrimination requirements, prohibiting dominant platforms from engaging in self- preferencing, and requiring them to offer equal terms for equal products and services;
• Interoperability and data portability, requiring dominant platforms to make their services compatible with various networks and to make content and information easily portable between them;
• Presumptive prohibition against future mergers and acquisitions by the dominant platforms;
• Safe harbor for news publishers in order to safeguard a free and diverse press; and
• Prohibitions on abuses of superior bargaining power, proscribing dominant platforms from engaging in contracting practices that derive from their dominant market position, and requiring due process protections for individuals and businesses dependent on the dominant platforms.

b. Strengthening the Antitrust Laws
• Reasserting the anti-monopoly goals of the antitrust laws and their centrality to ensuring a healthy and vibrant democracy;
• Strengthening Section 7 of the Clayton Act, including through restoring presumptions and bright-line rules, restoring the incipiency standard and protecting nascent competitors, and strengthening the law on vertical mergers;
• Strengthening Section 2 of the Sherman Act, including by introducing a prohibition on abuse of dominance and clarifying prohibitions on monopoly leveraging, predatory pricing, denial of essential facilities, refusals to deal, tying, and anticompetitive self-preferencing and product design; and
• Taking additional measures to strengthen overall enforcement, including through overriding problematic precedents in the case law.

c. Reviving Antitrust Enforcement
• Restoring robust congressional oversight of the antitrust laws and their enforcement;
• Restoring the federal antitrust agencies to full strength, by triggering civil penalties and other relief for “unfair methods of competition” rules, requiring the Federal Trade Commission to engage in regular data collection on concentration, enhancing public transparency and accountability of the agencies, requiring regular merger retrospectives, codifying stricter prohibitions on the revolving door, and increasing the budgets of the FTC and the Antitrust Division; and
• Strengthening private enforcement, through eliminating obstacles such as forced arbitration clauses, limits on class action formation, judicially created standards constraining what constitutes an antitrust injury, and unduly high pleading standards.
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firefish - October 8, 2020 at 11:05pm
I want to see it; but your PDF link is dead.
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