Biden should bolster antitrust cases, high-profile group says
WASHINGTON (US) – The Biden administration should bolster antitrust cases against Alphabet’s Google and Facebook, according to a group whose founder is part of the president-elect’s transition team.
The American Economic Liberties Project, an influential Washington-based anti-monopoly group, published a report with guidance for antitrust enforcers in the next administration. The group is led by Sarah Miller, who is working with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team and has played a crucial part in highlighting antitrust enforcement against Big Tech a mainstream issue.
The report’s recommendations throw light on the thinking that could have an impact on future policymaking under the Biden administration.
The group urged that the US Justice Department make clear that antitrust action against Google would be continued, by expanding the scope of litigation exceeding search to maps, travel and its app store.
The report urges the Biden administration to appoint aggressive Justice Department and FTC antitrust enforcers and calls for Biden’s attorney general nominee, Merrick Garland, to “publicly commit to seeking a Google breakup.”
“The anti-monopoly movement is really young…We wanted to lay out a vision that people in a new administration can rally around and can use as a clear roadmap for not only what’s possible but what’s necessary,” Miller told.
Those supporting this view want antitrust enforcement to shift from the prevailing standard which only takes into consideration whether consumers benefit from lower prices.
The report promotes antitrust agencies to challenge mergers, which involves a powerful buyer and stresses that regulators stop getting into settlements with companies that do not prompt them to admit wrongdoing.
Among other recommendations it wants to remove or prevent are regarding non-compete clauses in work arrangements and stop conflicts of interest by preventing companies from operating and competing on the same platform. An example for this would be Amazon.com Inc, which operates a third-party, seller-driven marketplace where it also competes.
The report also urges the FTC to prioritise venturing out with an antitrust case against Amazon for hurting competitors.