Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

U.S. House Antitrust Subcommittee Investigating Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Issues Report

Tony Romm, Cat Zakrzewski, and Rachel Lerman, Washington Post:

The House investigation stopped short of calling on the Trump administration to break up any of the companies. Instead, it proposed the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. antitrust law in decades, a series of legislative proposals that could empower the government to battle bigness in the tech industry and prevent future problematic mergers. Any such retooling would require approval from Congress, and it would affect not only Silicon Valley but the entire economy — essentially turning the House’s efforts into a broader assault against corporate consolidation.

[…]

“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 House panel concluded in its report. “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,” the report continues, enabling tech giants “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.”

All four companies have denied any wrongdoing. If you get the time, you should read the report for yourself (PDF). It is quite long — over four hundred pages — but it is comprehensively researched and well-articulated.