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Antitrust Updates on Big Tech

On June 3, 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that federal antitrust enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have opened an investigation into the “Big Tech” technology companies: Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon.[1]

The upcoming scrutiny of these technology companies by the FTC and antitrust officials at the DOJ comes amid a growing chorus for investigations into their potentially monopolistic behavior.[2] Earlier this Spring, U.S Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren advocated breaking up Big Tech, calling for the restoration of competition in the tech sector.[3] In April, Facebook’s co-founder Chris Hughes explicitly called for Facebook to be broken up.[4] And on June 11, the House Judiciary Committee kicked off its first hearing in a series on possible anticompetitive behavior of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.[5]

Regulators, the media, the legal community, and the public are now asking a myriad of fascinating legal questions, such as:

  • How can, and should, antitrust law enforcement be used to address the increasing concerns with big technology companies?
  • Why should consumers be concerned with an increasingly monopolized technology market?
  • Is innovation being stifled by Big Tech?

Questions like these present an opportunity to reevaluate prior assumptions and adapt to an age where data travels (almost) at the speed of light.

As a firm dedicated to ensuring private enforcement of antitrust laws, Hausfeld will be examining ongoing developments and exploring topics relating to the intersection of big tech and antitrust law over the coming months.

Footnotes

[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/ftc-to-examine-how-facebook-s-practices-affect-digital-competition-11559576731?mod=e2tw

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/is-big-tech-too-big-a-look-at-growing-antitrust-scrutiny/2019/06/04/91295894-870e-11e9-9d73-e2ba6bbf1b9b_story.html?utm_term=.2c1acd659b11

[3] https://medium.com/@teamwarren/heres-how-we-can-break-up-big-tech-9ad9e0da324c

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/09/opinion/sunday/chris-hughes-facebook-zuckerberg.html

[5] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/technology/antitrust-hearing.html

Related Lawyers: Theodore F. DiSalvo
Related Practice Areas: Antitrust / Competition