Washington, as usual, has been slow to react, but has begun to do so with a coordinated offensive that, if successful, can leave in an anecdote the old legal actions of 1998 against Microsoft for monopolistic practice. First, the lower house of the Capitol has begun an investigation of the large technology companies for unfair domain of the market. In parallel, the Trump Administration has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon and Facebook, and the Department of Justice to do the same with Apple and Google. Finally, two senators have approved a law that will allow newspaper editors to collectively negotiate the compensation of these giants for any unfair competition. The antitrust investigation against Amazon Adidas Shoe Size Chart, Google, Facebook and Apple is unprecedented simply because of the combined market capitalization of the four, which on Monday lost 130 billion dollars on the stock market (114 billion euros). The companies did not want to make statements, with the exception of Apple, whose CEO, Tim Cook, defended in an interview with CBS that the company has no “dominant position in any market.” Investors and analysts have thrown themselves into the defense of the digital titans, fearing multi-million dollar fines or even the cutting of some platforms. “The big challenge is what is the monopolistic practice in this case, because it is not at all clear what is the harm to the consumer,” explained Scott Kupor, of the venture capital firm Andressen Horowitz. “If you look at Facebook, Google, Amazon or Apple, it is not clear that they are hurting competitiveness. It is not clear that they are increasing prices. ”
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Suspicions, however, are not limited to market dominance or price coordination, but to the concentration of power. Democratic Deputy Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House of Representatives’ judicial commission, explains it this way: “The open internet has brought huge benefits to Americans, including a wave of economic opportunities, massive investments and new methods for education. But there is increasing evidence that some mediators have taken control of the arteries of commerce, content and communications. ”
Focusing on Facebook, the president of the Antitrust Commission of that same chamber adds that the practice of these companies to buy their competitors to grow through absorption is disloyal. “Since its inception, Facebook has bought 75 companies,” says Deputy Democrat David Adidas Shoe Size Chart. «Two of the most important purchases were Instagram, acquired in 2012 for 1 billion, and WhatsApp, bought in 2014 for 19,000 million. Through these purchases, Facebook now owns three of the four largest social media applications. ” In the background, there is the big problem of how the pie of advertising is distributed, which is what until recently the press lived and what is now mainly enriched by Google and Facebook. The EREs, the closures of newsrooms, the absence of local printed newspapers such as Detroit or New Orleans … all this is intrinsically related to the rise of large digital distribution platforms, as advocated by Senators John Kennedy and Amy Klobuchar. Both have presented this week the draft Law for Competitiveness and Preservation of Journalism, which wants above all translack in how the algorithms of the platforms select news and limits in the almost absolute control they have of the digital advertising markets, which they themselves market.