[Fourth Branch] Antitrust & Big Tech

A conversation about the history of antitrust law, the consumer welfare standard, and the tech giants.

Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google provide extremely valuable products and services, but their size, market share, and other concerns such as user privacy have led to concerns that they are wielding too much power.

Proponents of “populist” or “hipster” antitrust advocate for limiting the size of firms. This would require changing the Consumer Welfare Standard, which has been in place since the 1970’s.

Mark Zuckerburg’s testimony before Congress in April 2018 ignited a public debate about whether and how tech companies should be regulated. That debate continues and shows no signs of resolution.

Is it time to revisit the standards used in antitrust law? Our experts explore.

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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speakers.

Related Links:

“Antitrust Paradox” by Robert H. Bork

“‘Antitrust was defined by Robert Bork. I cannot overstate his influence.'”

“With Amazon Probe, EU Takes Cue From ‘Hipster’ Antitrust”

“Antitrust Cops Look to Retool as Washington Flays Tech Firms”

“Europe can’t rely on the US to regulate tech giants like Google and Facebook”

“Most now say government won’t do enough to regulate big tech: poll”

“In the U.S, Many Complaints About Big Tech, Little Action”

“Big Tech’s Reckoning May Be Imminent After All”



Hon. Douglas H. Ginsburg
Senior Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia


Nicolas Petit
Professor of Law, University of Liege (Belgium)


Joanna Tsai
Vice President, Charles River Associates


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