conversationJune 18, 2021 2:09:13 PM IST
The five proposed antitrust laws in the United States aim to aggressively restrict the market power of “big tech” companies and change the way they do business.
Set of introduced bills June 11Targets the huge economic powerhouse of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google (owned by parent company Alphabet) and others.
The general proposal is to split up the different companies operated by Big Tech, therefore “Killer AcquisitionA big tech company has acquired a rival to eliminate the threat to market power.
This proposal represents a major change in US antitrust law. US courts that enforce these laws now support the growth of large corporations and strengthen their economic strength. Excellent economic efficiency..
Every bill enjoys the support of Democrats and Republicans. It should be noted that the proposal has survived to this point despite the records. Pressure By a big tech company in Washington.
Even if only some of the proposals are passed into law, it can have significant consequences for the way Big Tech does business globally.
Who is the target of “Big Tech”? What is the reason?
The five bills, collectively called “A Stronger Online Economy: Opportunities, Innovations and Choices”, apply to “target platforms” such as:
- There are at least 50 million monthly active users in the United States
- Has minimum annual net sales or market capitalization of US $ 600 billion
- It is also an important business partner for the provision of products or services on or directly related to the Platform.
It will at least capture Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. This proposal is the result of a 16-month survey of these companies by the US antitrust subcommittee.
The survey looked famous CEO of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google Everyone testifies before the members of the committee. this is, 450 page report It was announced by the Democratic majority last October.
The report condemned various strategies used by companies as monopolistic and harmful to innovation, competition and consumers. mentionned:
Put simply, the once messy and vulnerable startups that defied the status quo have become the last monopoly we saw in the days of the oil baron and railroad tycoon.
How Proposals Change Big Tech
The measures contained in the bill are broad, but four important proposals stand out. First, large tech companies may be forced to split or sell a particular business if they are running both a business and a platform. Create a conflict of interest..
For example Amazon has been accused of using data Win over third-party sellers in the marketplace to gain competitive advantage in their Amazon Basics products.
Likewise, Apple may stop selling its products in competition with other products in its app stores and music stores.
Second, the platform is Give your product an edge over your competition On their platform unless they can prove that they are not hurting the competition.
For example, Google has been accused of using services such as Google Shopping in search results. This type of priority can prevent the launch of competing services, even if they offer better service.
Third, the proposition is “Killer AcquisitionWas created by a large technology company. This is when Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google buy up small competitors.
These acquisitions could prevent the emergence of better or more innovative products. They eliminate a significant competitive threat, and venture capitalists may be discouraged from funding the rest of their rivals.
consider WhatsAppStarted as an instant messaging privacy advocate. Eroded privacy protection Since Facebook was allowed to buy WhatsApp in 2014.
Under one of the bills, big tech companies will face greater hurdles in making a deadly acquisition. Take responsibility for the acquiring company and first prove that it is not in competition with the target company.
Finally, another proposal requires a platform that allows consumers to easily and securely transfer their digital history on the platform to themselves or to another platform. For example, you can seamlessly transfer your Facebook history to another platform and switch platforms without losing data.
How likely is the proposal to be legal?
Big Tech lobbyists are already working hard in Washington, claiming such a law would undermine successful American businesses and be overtaken by Chinese rivals.
On the other hand, there are representatives of the major American political parties who support each bill, which could increase the chances of success.
However, this is not a general consensus between the parties. Everyone tends to support big technological measures for a variety of reasons.
Many Republicans believe the platform has Prejudices against their party I would like to see more conservative rivals emerge. Democrats, on the other hand, are focused on the threat to democracy due to the platform’s economic strength and the ability to spread false information such as public health and politics.
While all proposals are unlikely to end up being legislated, strategies and support from both sides of politics mean that at least some changes are likely to be legislated.
Dividing the bill into several bills also increases the likelihood that some will pass. If they’re all in one, the lack of support for one or two suggestions can make them all quirky.
Results in Australia and around the world
The effects of the proposed antitrust law will be felt far beyond the United States.
If an American company takes action, it may decide to make the same changes globally. For example, Google announced last week that it would change its business globally to comply. Commitment made by GoogleFollowing the abuse of exclusive complaints from the European Union (EU).
The EU is already doing its own thinking Stricter law For large digital platforms. Parliamentarians from other countries could be affected by these measures.
In Australia, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission continues to expand investigations into digital platforms 5 year survey And he is expected to make recommendations to the government throughout this period.
Catherine Kemp, Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law School, UNSW
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What does this mean for Amazon, Apple, Facebook and more? How this is changing Big Tech-Technology News, Firstpost
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