Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Checking Up on Promises Made During Tech Company Acquisitions

Cory Doctorow, writing for the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

[…] Regulators used to go to court to block mergers to prevent companies from growing so large that they could abuse their market power. In place of blocking mergers, today’s competition regulators like to add terms and conditions to them, exacting promises from companies to behave themselves after the merger is complete. This safeguard continues to enjoy popularity with competition regulators, despite the fact that companies routinely break their public promises to safeguard users’ privacy and rarely face consequences for doing so.

Tech companies are not alone in reneging on promises like these. Telecom firms like T-Mobile and AT&T have repeatedly failed to uphold agreed-upon acquisition terms, with absolutely no consequences.