A House of Representatives panel said in a report Tuesday that four Big Tech firms are “monopolies” which abuse their market dominance and called for sweeping changes to antitrust laws and enforcement, which could potentially lead to breakups of the giant firms.
But the report by the staff of the House Judiciary Committee failed to win the endorsement of Republican members, highlighting a partisan divide despite widespread criticism of the tech giants.
The 449-page document concluded that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google “engage in a form of their own private quasi regulation that is unaccountable to anyone but themselves.”
“To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the report said.
The report comes after an investigation of more than 15 months and hearings this year with the top executives of the four firms, in parallel to antitrust probes being led by federal and state enforcers.
Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler and antitrust subcommittee chairman David Cicilline said in a joint statement that the tech firms “each possess significant market power over large swaths of our economy” and that all have “exploited their power of the marketplace in anticompetitive ways.”
The report suggests moves which could lead to breakups without offering details on doing so.
It calls for “structural separations” to prohibit companies from competing on platforms they operate.
Also recommended was a requirement that platforms allow “interoperability” with competitors and the establishment of a standard to halt acquisitions that hurt