How to Use Anti-Monopoly Law to Make Google, Facebook, and Amazon Safe for American Democracy and Prosperity
April 17, 2020
Washington, DC – The Open Markets Institute today called on anti-monopoly law enforcers and Congress to take a simple, three-step approach to breaking the dangerous concentration of power and control by Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
In a letter to Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, Open Markets said that the key to protecting American democracy and prosperity is to apply traditional common carrier rules to these monopolists, the same as Americans have done to every previous networked provider of essential services. Enforcers and Congress should then prevent these corporations from competing with their own customers and should ensure that all networked services provided by these corporations be fully interoperable with rival systems.
The Open Markets Institute wrote the letter in response to a request by the subcommittee for input on competition in the digital marketplace. The letter was also co-signed by Athena Coalition, American Economic Liberties Project, Fight for the Future, Freedom from Facebook and Google Coalition, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Jobs with Justice, United 4 Respect and Frank Pasquale, Professor of Law at University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
“Illegal monopolization by Big Tech harms citizens as entrepreneurs, innovators, creators, employees, and consumers by reducing opportunity, imposing unfair business terms, driving down workers’ incomes, and robbing citizens of the choice, innovation, and quality that comes from true competition,” said Sally Hubbard, Director of Enforcement Strategy at Open Markets Institute. “Perhaps most importantly, tech giants have used illegal mergers and conduct to entrench their power and wield it in ways that disrupt the free press, fair elections, and the marketplace of ideas.”
If left alone, the monopoly problem will continue to worsen. With the aim of opening the gates to fair competition and innovation, Open Markets also proposed a suite of additional anti-monopoly policies that includes a temporary merger ban on all mergers by digital platforms, clearer rules barring exclusionary conduct, and protections for collective action by workers, professionals, small firms, and consumers against platform monopolists.
Read the full letter here