Continuing a principled approach to antitrust
Yesterday, the Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing with the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google as part of an ongoing committee investigation of online platforms and market power. The hearing—titled “Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 6: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google”—was the latest indication of the desire of many in Congress to use antitrust laws to regulate tech companies.
Yet this hearing did not clearly indicate that policymakers’ concerns are properly considered a competition-related issue. While concerns about potentially anticompetitive behavior may exist, any enforcement efforts should focus on competition related issues and apply the objective consumer welfare standard rather than seeking to politicize antitrust or use it for policy goals to which it is ill-suited.