Are current antitrust tools fully adequate to cope with the challenges posed by giant online “digital platforms” (such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook)? Yes. Should antitrust rules be expanded to address broader social concerns that transcend consumer welfare and economic efficiency, such as income inequality and allegedly excessive big business influence on the political process? No. For more details, see my January 23 Heritage Foundation Legal Memorandum entitled Antitrust and the Winner-Take-All Economy. That Memo concludes:
[T]he U.S. antitrust laws as currently applied, emphasizing sound economics, are fully capable of preventing truly anticompetitive behavior by major Internet platform companies and other large firms. But using antitrust to attack companies based on non-economic, ill-defined concerns about size, fairness, or political clout is unwarranted, and would be a recipe for reduced innovation and economic stagnation. Recent arguments trotted out to use antitrust in such an expansive manner are baseless, and should be rejected by enforcers and by Congress.
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