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Antitrust

Antitrust Enforcement Certain to Rise as Left and Right Agree Big Tech Has Too Much Power

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Screenshot of Ashley Baker from the State of the Net session

January 27, 2021 – With a focus on the power of big technology platforms, antitrust and competition issues faced by the Biden Administration are at the highest levels of hyperpolarization ever, observed panelists from the left and the right at the State of the Net event on Wednesday.

The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and the reaction by tech platform, have put a spotlight on tech companies’ role in controlling information, said Ashley Baker, director of public policy at the Committee for Justice, a non-profit group devoted to advancing conservative judges.

The result of allowing big companies to grow into monopolies harms both consumers and forces other businesses to pay higher prices for commodities like broadband, said Sarah Miller, executive director at the progressive American Economic Liberties Project, and who is also co-Chair of the Freedom From Facebook advocacy group.

Big Tech is hampering entrepreneurship and innovation while antitrust issues sit unaddressed, she said.

But Jennifer Huddleston, director of technology and innovation policy at the market-focused American Action Forum, took a contrarian view.

Highlighting the consumer welfare standard and the important role in plays in giving a standard to consumers’ experience in the market, she said that policy-makers should not just automatically presume that big automatically equals bad.

If the panel were having the same conversation in previous decades, they would have been asking if Myspace were a natural monopoly, or whether Yahoo won the search boards, or how the AOL and Time Warner merger was going to end everything.

She said this showed the need for dynamic markets allowing innovation to be the best type of competition policy.

She also warned of unintended consequences by going after Big Tech: Antitrust laws can adversely impact local businesses and farms.

While there are numerous reasons innovative companies exist, one reason is that smaller firms hope to be acquired by larger firms. This is not bad, as it smaller firms better resources. Baker agreed that the government shouldn’t make small businesses fear that the only viable exit strategy is to fight to the death against its competitors.

To increase competition via natural innovation, policy-makers need to force greater interoperability, said Charlotte Slaiman, competition policy director at Public Knowledge.

Facebook allows users to post to both their Facebook and Instagram properties. But Facebook should allow cross posting to other social media networks.

Antitrust

FTC Divided Over Increasing Agency Jurisdiction at Congressional Hearing

FTC commissioners were split at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday at the prospects of increasing FTC jurisdiction.

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Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois.

January 27, 2021 – With a focus on the power of big technology platforms, antitrust and competition issues faced by the Biden Administration are at the highest levels of hyperpolarization ever, observed panelists from the left and the right at the State of the Net event on Wednesday.

The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and the reaction by tech platform, have put a spotlight on tech companies’ role in controlling information, said Ashley Baker, director of public policy at the Committee for Justice, a non-profit group devoted to advancing conservative judges.

The result of allowing big companies to grow into monopolies harms both consumers and forces other businesses to pay higher prices for commodities like broadband, said Sarah Miller, executive director at the progressive American Economic Liberties Project, and who is also co-Chair of the Freedom From Facebook advocacy group.

Big Tech is hampering entrepreneurship and innovation while antitrust issues sit unaddressed, she said.

But Jennifer Huddleston, director of technology and innovation policy at the market-focused American Action Forum, took a contrarian view.

Highlighting the consumer welfare standard and the important role in plays in giving a standard to consumers’ experience in the market, she said that policy-makers should not just automatically presume that big automatically equals bad.

If the panel were having the same conversation in previous decades, they would have been asking if Myspace were a natural monopoly, or whether Yahoo won the search boards, or how the AOL and Time Warner merger was going to end everything.

She said this showed the need for dynamic markets allowing innovation to be the best type of competition policy.

She also warned of unintended consequences by going after Big Tech: Antitrust laws can adversely impact local businesses and farms.

While there are numerous reasons innovative companies exist, one reason is that smaller firms hope to be acquired by larger firms. This is not bad, as it smaller firms better resources. Baker agreed that the government shouldn’t make small businesses fear that the only viable exit strategy is to fight to the death against its competitors.

To increase competition via natural innovation, policy-makers need to force greater interoperability, said Charlotte Slaiman, competition policy director at Public Knowledge.

Facebook allows users to post to both their Facebook and Instagram properties. But Facebook should allow cross posting to other social media networks.

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Antitrust

Explainer: Antitrust Heats Up as Biden Selects Tech Critic Jonathan Kanter for Top Enforcement Spot

In the fourth in a series of explainers, Broadband Breakfast examines the Biden administration’s intent to bash Big Tech.

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Photo of Jonathan Kanter at the Capitol Forum by New America used with permission

January 27, 2021 – With a focus on the power of big technology platforms, antitrust and competition issues faced by the Biden Administration are at the highest levels of hyperpolarization ever, observed panelists from the left and the right at the State of the Net event on Wednesday.

The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and the reaction by tech platform, have put a spotlight on tech companies’ role in controlling information, said Ashley Baker, director of public policy at the Committee for Justice, a non-profit group devoted to advancing conservative judges.

The result of allowing big companies to grow into monopolies harms both consumers and forces other businesses to pay higher prices for commodities like broadband, said Sarah Miller, executive director at the progressive American Economic Liberties Project, and who is also co-Chair of the Freedom From Facebook advocacy group.

Big Tech is hampering entrepreneurship and innovation while antitrust issues sit unaddressed, she said.

But Jennifer Huddleston, director of technology and innovation policy at the market-focused American Action Forum, took a contrarian view.

Highlighting the consumer welfare standard and the important role in plays in giving a standard to consumers’ experience in the market, she said that policy-makers should not just automatically presume that big automatically equals bad.

If the panel were having the same conversation in previous decades, they would have been asking if Myspace were a natural monopoly, or whether Yahoo won the search boards, or how the AOL and Time Warner merger was going to end everything.

She said this showed the need for dynamic markets allowing innovation to be the best type of competition policy.

She also warned of unintended consequences by going after Big Tech: Antitrust laws can adversely impact local businesses and farms.

While there are numerous reasons innovative companies exist, one reason is that smaller firms hope to be acquired by larger firms. This is not bad, as it smaller firms better resources. Baker agreed that the government shouldn’t make small businesses fear that the only viable exit strategy is to fight to the death against its competitors.

To increase competition via natural innovation, policy-makers need to force greater interoperability, said Charlotte Slaiman, competition policy director at Public Knowledge.

Facebook allows users to post to both their Facebook and Instagram properties. But Facebook should allow cross posting to other social media networks.

Continue Reading

Antitrust

Federal Trade Commission Expands Antitrust Enforcement By Rescinding Obama-Era Policy

In a party-line vote, the agency rescinded a 2015 statement that limited the scope of antitrust enforcement.

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Photo of FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan.

January 27, 2021 – With a focus on the power of big technology platforms, antitrust and competition issues faced by the Biden Administration are at the highest levels of hyperpolarization ever, observed panelists from the left and the right at the State of the Net event on Wednesday.

The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and the reaction by tech platform, have put a spotlight on tech companies’ role in controlling information, said Ashley Baker, director of public policy at the Committee for Justice, a non-profit group devoted to advancing conservative judges.

The result of allowing big companies to grow into monopolies harms both consumers and forces other businesses to pay higher prices for commodities like broadband, said Sarah Miller, executive director at the progressive American Economic Liberties Project, and who is also co-Chair of the Freedom From Facebook advocacy group.

Big Tech is hampering entrepreneurship and innovation while antitrust issues sit unaddressed, she said.

But Jennifer Huddleston, director of technology and innovation policy at the market-focused American Action Forum, took a contrarian view.

Highlighting the consumer welfare standard and the important role in plays in giving a standard to consumers’ experience in the market, she said that policy-makers should not just automatically presume that big automatically equals bad.

If the panel were having the same conversation in previous decades, they would have been asking if Myspace were a natural monopoly, or whether Yahoo won the search boards, or how the AOL and Time Warner merger was going to end everything.

She said this showed the need for dynamic markets allowing innovation to be the best type of competition policy.

She also warned of unintended consequences by going after Big Tech: Antitrust laws can adversely impact local businesses and farms.

While there are numerous reasons innovative companies exist, one reason is that smaller firms hope to be acquired by larger firms. This is not bad, as it smaller firms better resources. Baker agreed that the government shouldn’t make small businesses fear that the only viable exit strategy is to fight to the death against its competitors.

To increase competition via natural innovation, policy-makers need to force greater interoperability, said Charlotte Slaiman, competition policy director at Public Knowledge.

Facebook allows users to post to both their Facebook and Instagram properties. But Facebook should allow cross posting to other social media networks.

Continue Reading

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