Ask me about my fanboy energy!
Report proposes major changes to the tech industry.
“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 says. “By controlling access to markets, these giants can pick winners and losers throughout our economy. They not only wield tremendous power, but they also abuse it by charging exorbitant fees, imposing oppressive contract terms, and extracting valuable data from the people and businesses that rely on them.”
Lawmakers also recommend a higher bar for acquisition by dominant tech companies, spurred on by the hundreds of acquisitions listed in the report’s appendix. To balance the playing field, the report suggests a shift in presumption for any merger submitted by a major tech company. “Under this change, any acquisition by a dominant platform would be presumed anticompetitive unless the merging parties could show that the transaction was necessary for serving the public interest,” the report reads.
Full report"As they exist today, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook each possess significant market power over large swaths of our economy. In recent years, each company has expanded and exploited their power of the marketplace in anticompetitive ways,” Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and antitrust subcommittee head David Cicilline (D-RI) said in a statement. “Our investigation leaves no doubt that there is a clear and compelling need for Congress and the antitrust enforcement agencies to take action.”
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/7222836/Investigation-of-Competition-in-Digital-Markets.pdfNow for the part everyone wants to know, in Page 17
Page 365...Despite this, Apple leverages its control of iOS and the App Store to create and enforce barriers to competition and discriminate against and exclude rivals while preferencing its own offerings. Apple also uses its power to exploit app developers through misappropriation of competitively sensitive information and to charge app developers supra-competitive prices within the App Store. Apple has maintained its dominance due to the presence of network effects, high barriers to entry, and high switching costs in the mobile operating system market.
Apple is primarily a hardware company that derives most of its revenue from sales of devices and accessories. However, as the market for products like the iPhone have matured, Apple has pivoted to rely increasingly on sales of its applications and services, as well as collecting commissions and fees in the App Store. In the absence of competition, Apple’s monopoly power over software distribution to iOS devices has resulted in harms to competitors and competition, reducing quality and innovation among app developers, and increasing prices and reducing choices for consumers.
Apple’s communications team asked CEO Tim Cook to approve a “narrative”in that Apple’sclear-out of Screen Time’s rivals was “not about competition, this is about protecting kids privacy.”
Here, Apple’s monopoly power over app distribution enabled it to exclude rivals to the benefit of Screen Time. Apple could have achieved its claimed objective—protecting user privacy—through less restrictive means, which it ultimately did only after significant outcry from the public and a prolonged period of harm to rivals. Apple’s conduct here is a clear example of Apple’s use of privacy as a sword to exclude rivals and a shield to insulate itself from charges of anticompetitiveconduct. Subcommittee staff learned that Apple has engaged in conduct to exclude rivals to benefit Apple’s services in other instances. For example, Mr. Shoemaker explained that Apple’s senior executives would find pretextual reasons to remove apps from the App Store, particularly when those apps competed with Apple services.