House Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline continues to publicly state that the Four Tech Giants abuse their Market Power
In late August, Patently Apple posted a report titled "The Antitrust Hearings against big tech will drop the Hammer next Month with a finding that all Players investigated abused their Market Power." Our report specifically pointed to David Cicilline, head of a House antitrust panel, going out of his way to state that the four tech companies in the investigation were guilty. Cicilline stated in an interview that day that his inquiry has confirmed that Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc., Amazon and Facebook are abusing their market power to crush competitors and that Congress must act urgently to rein them in to protect consumers.
In a new Bloomberg report, David Cicilline was once again found stating that Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. abuse their power as gatekeepers of the internet.
Cicilline added yesterday that "By controlling the infrastructure of the digital age, they have surveilled other businesses to identify potential rivals -- and ultimately bought out, copied, or cut off their competitive threats."
Cicilline, who spoke during a hearing with experts on competition law yesterday, is preparing a final report recommending changes to the legislative and regulatory framework. That report is expected to be released as early as next week. It has the potential of generating major blockbuster headlines, so stay tuned.
Among the recommendations that Cicilline has floated is a prohibition against running a platform and competing on it at the same time. That would potentially bar Google from bidding in the online ad exchanges it operates or stop Amazon from providing a marketplace for independent merchants while selling its own products, according to Bloomberg.
Of course that would certainly apply to Apple and their App Store as well. Cicilline's position simply echoes what Elizabeth Warren stated back in 2019; That Apple could run a platform or an App Store but not both. That prospect likely has the CEO's of Spotify and Epic Games drinking Champagne this morning.
On the antitrust issues, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, who is the top Republican on the subcommittee stated: "We ultimately disagree on the future of antitrust laws." He suggested that while he wants to see improved enforcement of existing laws, he's opposed to changes that would prompt break-ups of the companies.
In addition to Cicilline’s investigation, federal and state antitrust enforcers are poised to file a historic monopolization lawsuit against Google, and additional cases could be in the pipeline. For more on this, read the full Bloomberg report.