Even as delivery services work to ship all of those last-minute Christmas presents that consumers bought this season from digital platforms and other e-commerce sites, the U.S. House and Senate are contemplating Grinch-like legislation that looks to stop or limit how Big Tech companies can “self-preference” or “discriminate” on their platforms. A platform “self-preferences” when ... U.S. Senate Self-Preferencing Bill Offers Perfect Recipe for Regulatory Overreach
On both sides of the Atlantic, 2021 has seen legislative and regulatory proposals to mandate that various digital services be made interoperable with others. Several bills to do so have been proposed in Congress; the EU’s proposed Digital Markets Act would mandate interoperability in certain contexts for “gatekeeper” platforms; and the UK’s competition regulator will ... Mandatory Interoperability Is Not a ‘Super Tool’ for Platform Competition
A bipartisan group of senators unveiled legislation today that would dramatically curtail the ability of online platforms to “self-preference” their own services—for example, when Apple pre-installs its own Weather or Podcasts apps on the iPhone, giving it an advantage that independent apps don’t have. The measure accompanies a House bill that included similar provisions, with ... 5 Thoughts on the Senate’s Proposed Platform Self-Preferencing Ban
A lawsuit filed by the State of Texas and nine other states in December 2020 alleges, among other things, that Google has engaged in anticompetitive conduct related to its online display-advertising business. Broadly, the Texas complaint (previously discussed in this TOTM symposium) alleges that Google possesses market power in ad-buying tools and in search, illustrated ... Is There Any Market Power in Online Display Advertising?
Digital advertising is the economic backbone of the Internet. It allows websites and apps to monetize their userbase without having to charge them fees, while the emergence of targeted ads allows this to be accomplished affordably and with less wasted time wasted. This advertising is facilitated by intermediaries using the “adtech stack,” through which advertisers ... Online Display Advertising: What’s the relevant market?
The American Choice and Innovation Online Act (previously called the Platform Anti-Monopoly Act), introduced earlier this summer by U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), would significantly change the nature of digital platforms and, with them, the internet itself. Taken together, the bill’s provisions would turn platforms into passive intermediaries, undermining many of the features that make ... Breaking Down the American Choice and Innovation Online Act
In recent years, a growing chorus of voices has argued that existing merger rules fail to apprehend competitively significant mergers, either because they fall below existing merger-filing thresholds or because they affect innovation in ways that are purportedly ignored. These fears are particularly acute in the pharmaceutical and tech industries, where several high-profile academic articles ... Technology Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control
U.S. and European competition laws diverge in numerous ways that have important real-world effects. Understanding these differences is vital, particularly as lawmakers in the United States, and the rest of the world, consider adopting a more “European” approach to competition. In broad terms, the European approach is more centralized and political. The European Commission’s Directorate ... How US and EU Competition Law Differ
Earlier this year, the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) hosted a conference with the Oxford Union on the themes of innovation, competition, and economic growth with some of our favorite scholars. Though attendance at the event itself was reserved for Oxford Union members, videos from that day are now available for everyone to ... ICLE at the Oxford Union
Her appointment also comes as House Democrats are preparing to mark up five bills designed to regulate Big Tech and, in the process, vastly expand the FTC’s powers. This expansion may combine with Khan’s appointment in ways that lawmakers considering the bills have not yet considered. This is a critical time for the FTC. It ... What Lina Khan’s appointment means for the House antitrust bills
Democratic leadership of the House Judiciary Committee have leaked the approach they plan to take to revise U.S. antitrust law and enforcement, with a particular focus on digital platforms. Broadly speaking, the bills would: raise fees for larger mergers and increase appropriations to the FTC and DOJ; require data portability and interoperability; declare that large ... Breaking Down House Democrats’ Forthcoming Competition Bills
Critics of big tech companies like Google and Amazon are increasingly focused on the supposed evils of “self-preferencing.” This refers to when digital platforms like Amazon Marketplace or Google Search, which connect competing services with potential customers or users, also offer (and sometimes prioritize) their own in-house products and services. The objection, raised by several ... Platform Self-Preferencing Can Be Good for Consumers and Even Competitors