While Congress admits that Facebook used the data it collected to “acquire, copy, or kill” threats, and then enforced its platform policies based on whether it perceived other companies as competitive threats, it refuses to do anything to stop Facebook from breaking antitrust laws…
This investigation marks the first congressional review of the tech industry, at a time when we are all relying on technology like never before. The nearly 500-page report released by the House Judiciary Committee compares today’s big tech companies to the railroad tycoons of the 19th century.
While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attempted to point to the social media site’s humble beginnings, the investigation found that when it comes to competition—Facebook has none. The report noted that Facebook used the data it collected to create market intelligence to “acquire, copy, or kill” any threats. It then enforced its platform policies based on whether it perceived other companies as competitive threats.
Amazon has also attempted to argue against allegations that it used software to learn from the analytics of its smaller competitors – and then worked to stifle and replicate their products. But the investigation found that Amazon has, in fact, engaged in anti-competitive practices in its treatment of third-party sellers. Noting that while Amazon publicly refers to them as partners, it privately sees “internal competitors.”
Apple was also under fire for using its App store to stamp out its competition. While it defended the commission rates it has charged, the report noted that Apple discriminated against competitors, giving preference to its own apps. And it abused app developers with high entry costs to maintain their listings in the App Store.
While Google defended its search engine listings, the investigation found that it used an aggressive campaign to undermine any search providers it viewed as significant threats. Google also stifled third parties while boosting its own inferior results.
The report also warned that in the next decade, around 30 percent of the world’s gross economic output will likely revolve Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google – four companies that currently have a combined worth of $5 Trillion dollars. But while a number of recommendations were made, Congress is not expected to take any action to break up these monopolies any time soon.