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Better Late than Never-US Competition Law Agencies Join the Fray

Getting Regulation Right Blog Aspect
Dr Archana Gulati
Published Jun 05, 2019

After seeming to have been sitting it out while the EU and UK agencies have traversed miles regarding competition and privacy concerns surrounding the big digital platforms and regulation of these platforms, the FTC and DoJ are finally (reportedly) joining the fray to initiate probes in relation to possible anti-competitive conduct by the big tech companies.  Some of the news reports can be seen here and here.

Ignoring competition concerns is never in the interest of a nation in the long run even if the firms bring growth and jobs to the domestic economy in the short run. This is therefore a positive development and would hopefully spur more efforts on the part of digital platforms to self regulate too.

One of the areas of investigation will be Google’s dominance in online advertising,

The EU has brought three cases against Google, including how it ranked shopping-comparison sites in search results, requirements for how customers use its display ads network, and its practice of requiring phone makers that used its Android software to pre-load those phones with other Google apps.

Google, Facebook and Amazon will also probably be under scrutiny for the manner in which they use data acquired from customers as also competitors. There have been several probes against Facebook’s data collection and privacy practices. As regards, Amazon, already,

The EU is investigating whether Amazon uses data about the third-party merchants who sell on its retail site to give the company an advantage when it sells its own products. 

My previous comments and presentations can be seen here and here and under the labels big data, data protection and competition.