Online intermediaries have emerged as the railroad monopolies of the 21st century, controlling access to market and increasingly determining who wins and who loses in today’s economy. Their dominance drives inequality and afflicts citizens and business-owners in all corners of American society.
The Corner Newsletter, July 26, 2019: The Corner Newsletter: Commissioner Chopra’s Powerful Dissent – How Trump’s New Executive Order on Hospital Pricing Could Change Health Care – Three Takeaways from the House Antitrust Subcommittee’s Latest Hearing
Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard published an op-ed on CNN Business on the Federal Trade Commission’s $5 billion settlement with Facebook and asserts that the company needs a new business model. “Instead of fines, changing destructive business models and anticompetitive practices is the only way to lessen the platforms’ harms,” Hubbard writes. “These fixes fall into four main buckets, spelling out the acronym PAIN: privacy, antitrust, interoperability and non-discrimination.”
Enforcers and policymakers should pay particular attention to FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra’s powerful dissenting statement. Chopra condemned the Facebook settlement, writing, “This framework does not protect the public — it protects Facebook” and “ratifies Facebook’s governance structure instead of changing it.”
On the heels of Open Markets publicly demanding Libra’s launch partners “walk away” from the project, OMI, Public Citizen, Demand Progress Education Fund, and Revolving Door Project sent a joint letter to all 27 partners.
Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy talks to Jon Ward, host of Yahoo’s Long Game Podcast on the case for regulating Facebook and Google. “The amount of data that Facebook and Google are collecting about the average person is absolutely insane, massive, widespread, ubiquitous, and I think honestly, a fraud on the American people that the people don’t understand that this is happening,” said Hubbard.
CBC News speaks with Open Markets Senior Fellow Matt Stoller about Facebook’s new proposal to launch Libra, a new digital currency. He says Facebook’s proposed global currency would give it the financial powers of a sovereign state and undermine democratic institutions. “It’s an absurd idea to create a global currency system managed by a private group of people. I can’t tell you how ridiculous it is,” he told CBC.
Open Markets Institute strongly welcomes the decision by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to file suit to block Quad/Graphics Inc.’s proposed acquisition of LSC Communications Inc. as Open Markets and others demanded in a March letter.
The Houston Chronicle Editorial Board published a piece on Facebook’s plans to act like a bank demanding regulation. They cite Open Markets Senior Fellow Matt Stoller’s piece on The New York Times warning of the dangers of Facebook’s proposed Libra coin.