• Letter to Lina Khan by Steven Levy

    The Plain View

    Two key figures in Biden’s murderers row of tech regulators—FTC chair Lina Khan and the DOJ’s assistant attorney general for antitrust, Jonathan Kanter—emerged from their hideouts this week to announce that they are preparing new guidelines on how mergers should be evaluated, kicking off the process with a 60-day call for comments.

    In an apparent accident of timing (of course, skeptics would say there are no coincidences), Microsoft announced that same day that it was making the biggest merger in its history, capturing one of the bosses of the game world, Activision, for $69 billion. Clearly, Big Tech has already decided what guidelines bind them on acquisitions: whatever they can get away with.

    Obviously, the two sides have differences in opinion. To clear up matters, I thought I’d take up Kahn and Kantor’s offer and make my own public comment, sent right to the inbox of you lucky Plaintext subscribers!

    Dear Antitrust Czars,

    I’m not a lawyer or an investor, but as a longtime observer of bad behavior and predatory mergers in the tech field, I have Thoughts. I’m not sure how much impact my view will have, though, because it seems to me you’ve already made up your minds on how you want to change merger guidelines, as well as what’s considered anticompetitive behavior. But that’s OK! It doesn’t mean, Chair Khan, that you should recuse yourself from your antitrust lawsuits against Amazon and Meta, just because you have Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg on your dartboard. They are there for policy reasons, not because you can’t stand Bezos’ laugh or Zuckerberg’s sunscreen. The president appointed you because he wants to get tougher with the likes of those corporate barons, and the judge in the Meta case has already rejected the argument that you’re conflicted.

    So I’m betting that all the comments the two of you get, including mine, won’t divert you from the course you basically set out this week. When you talk about modernizing the guidelines, the headline of your press release makes clear your agenda: to “strengthen enforcement against illegal mergers.” You already have your road map—expanding the definition of anticompetitive to include cases where products are free to consumers, considering the future impact on mergers in nascent markets, and assessing the eventual effects of a dominating company’s entry into a new business. In practice, you don’t necessarily need new guidelines—you’ve already been more aggressively challenging mergers in industries from publishing to computer chips. And those guidelines can be ephemeral. After all, Chair Khan, you’d hardly taken your seat at the agency when you tossed out a merger guideline established just last year by your predecessor. Maybe a future administration will trash your new guidelines just as blithely. But I get it—revising the guidelines to give you more power provides ammunition when companies challenge you in court, which they undoubtedly will.

    You’re right in saying you need new weapons, especially since the forces stacked against you are so formidable. That’s your biggest problem: the unholy bigness of Big Tech. I know that an oft-used canard in antitrust law is that humongous size doesn’t necessarily equal anticompetitiveness. But Big Tech’s bulk has thrown everything out of whack. The combined market cap of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Meta is around $7 trillion. That would fund the Defense Department for a decade.

    That size means that every one of those giants’ substantial mergers is arguably anticompetitive on its face, because their acquisitions immediately become more powerful by virtue of being tied to those dominating platforms. When, for instance, a tech giant like Amazon or Apple decides to become a movie studio, it isn’t like a bunch of film students setting up a back lot somewhere. The new content, financed by the mother ship’s Brobdingnagian profits, has an immediate pipeline to existing consumers already locked into those ecosystems—ecosystems that might favor in-house productions over traditional fare.

    Now let’s talk about how that bigness plays into the Activision bid. In terms of dollars, it’s the most expensive acquisition in Microsoft’s history. Even so, Microsoft doesn’t have to stretch to make the purchase. For perspective, let’s look back to the unsuccessful $45 billion bid for Yahoo that Microsoft made in 2008. If it had gone through, it would have remained the biggest acquisition in the company’s history to date. Capturing Yahoo would have required Microsoft to squander a fifth of its value. (Buying the troubled Yahoo would also have been a huge mistake, but that’s another story.) But the Activision price tag eats up less than 3 percent of Microsoft’s current $2.25 trillion market cap. That’s pocket change for Satya Nadella.

    That sum brings an anticompetitive bounty to Microsoft. It is one of two producers of high-end game consoles, and potentially it could limit Activision titles to Xbox. No wonder Sony took a $20 billion hit after the announcement. Activision also has tens of millions of users who now will find it easier to use Microsoft’s other offerings. Most importantly, camo gear might prove the fashion choice in the next generation of computing, as armies of Call of Duty warriors could use the popular Activision game as a gateway to Microsoft’s metaverse.

    The only way you are going to temper Big Tech—forget about taming it—is to challenge those companies early and often. Guts, not guidelines, might prove more decisive. I suspect you know this. You are right to push hard for Congress to increase your resources, in both financial power and new hires, because you need more regulators, more investigators, more lawyers, more analysts, and more pizzas delivered for late-night brainstorming. These titans will not slow down unless they know there’s a price to be paid. If a tech giant knows that an investigation, and then a lawsuit, could stand in the way of an acquisition, that bid might not be offered in the first place.

    Chair Khan, you acknowledged in a television interview this week that because of your limited tenure, you have a “fierce sense of urgency.” But with the Activision merger announcement, Microsoft laughed in your face. Don’t let them have the last laugh.

    #Lina_Khan #Antitrust #Microsoft #Activision #Jeu_vidéo #Monopoles

  • Amazon : condamnation de 1,28 milliard € pour “domination absolue”

    À bien des égards, Amazon rime avec condamnation. Aujourd’hui, la multinationale doit payer une amende de 1,28 milliard € auprès de l’AGCM, Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato [Autorité de la Concurrence et du Marché]. Cette décision a été prise en Italie pour sanctionner la position de « domination absolue » de l’entreprise, par son service de traitement des commandes.

    #Amazon #Antitrust #Concurrence #Commerce_électronique

  • Lina Khan’s Battle to Rein in Big Tech | The New Yorker

    Open Markets studied industries ranging from banking to agriculture. In case after case, Lynn found, the number of companies in each market had been reduced to a few big entities that had bought up their competitors, giving them a disproportionate amount of power. Consumers had the impression of vast choices among brands, but this was often misleading: many of the biggest furniture stores were owned by one company; a large percentage of the dozens of laundry detergents in most supermarkets were made by two corporations. After consolidation, it became easier for furniture sellers and detergent manufacturers to raise prices, compromise the quality of their products, or treat employees poorly, because consumers and workers had few other places to go. It also became much more difficult for entrepreneurs to break into the marketplace, because competing with these giants was almost impossible. As huge companies became even bigger, much of the American middle class struggled with stagnant wages. In Lynn’s view, the issues were connected.

    Khan began researching book publishing. “There was a sense that this industry was in crisis,” she recalled. Publishers had come under pressure, first from chain stores like Barnes & Noble, and then from Amazon, which sold electronic books by pricing them at a loss, in order to encourage consumers to buy its Kindle e-book readers. Amazon eventually controlled more than seventy per cent of the e-book market, a dominance that gave it the ability to force publishers to accept its terms, undermining the business model they had long used to subsidize the creation of a wide variety of books. When publishers tried to band together to fight Amazon, the Justice Department sued them, fearing that their action would increase the retail price of e-books. The publishers saw Amazon’s power as potentially leading to a decline in the free exchange of ideas and as a crisis for democracy. Increasingly, so did Khan. Her work helped provide the basis for a piece that Lynn published in Harper’s, in February, 2012, called “Killing the Competition.” Today, he wrote, “a single private company has captured the ability to dictate terms to the people who publish our books, and hence to the people who write and read our books.”

    Khan told me that she started to see the world differently. “It’s incredible, once you start studying industry structure and see how much consolidation there has been across industries—in airlines, contact-lens solution, funeral caskets,” she said. “Every nook and cranny of our economy has consolidated. I was discovering this new world.” At one point, she investigated the candy market, identifying nearly forty brands in her local store that were made by Hershey, Mars, or Nestlé. In another project, about the raising of poultry, she found that most farmers had to purchase chicks and feed from the giant poultry processor that bought their full-grown chickens, which, because it had no local competitors, could dictate the price it paid for them.

    On June 15, 2021, Khan was sworn in as the chair of the Federal Trade Commission, the agency responsible for consumer protection and for enforcing the branch of law that regulates monopolies. At the age of thirty-two, she is the youngest person ever to head the F.T.C.

    Amazon taught a generation of consumers that they could order anything online, from packs of mints to swimming pools, and expect it to be delivered almost overnight. According to some estimates, the company controls close to fifty per cent of all e-commerce retail sales in the U.S. and occupies roughly two hundred and twenty-eight million square feet of warehouse space. It makes movies and publishes books; delivers groceries; provides home-security systems and the cloud-computing services that many other companies rely on. Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, wants to colonize the moon. During the Presidency of Barack Obama, Amazon’s relentless expansion was largely encouraged by the government. The country was emerging from a devastating recession, and Obama saw entrepreneurs like Bezos as sources of innovation and jobs. In 2013, in a speech given at an Amazon warehouse in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Obama described the company’s role in bolstering the financial security of the middle class and creating stable, well-paying work. He spoke with near-awe of how, during the previous Christmas rush, Amazon had sold more than three hundred items per second. Obama was also close with Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. An analysis by the Intercept found that employees and lobbyists from Alphabet visited the White House more than those from any other company, and White House staff turned to Google technologists to troubleshoot the Affordable Care Act Web site and other projects. Between 2010 and 2016, Amazon, Google, and other tech giants bought up hundreds of competitors, and the government, for the most part, did not object. The analysis also found that nearly two hundred and fifty people moved between government positions and companies controlled by Schmidt, law and lobbying firms that did work for Alphabet, or Alphabet itself. When Obama left office, many of his top aides took jobs at tech companies: Jay Carney, Obama’s former press secretary, joined Amazon; David Plouffe, his campaign manager, and Tony West, a high-ranking official at the Department of Justice, joined Uber; and Lisa Jackson, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, went to Apple.

    As a result, antitrust policy, especially as it pertains to big technology firms, has emerged as one of the starkest differences between the Biden Presidency and the Obama one.

    Biden Administration has indicated that it wants to reshape the role that major technology companies play in the economy and in our lives. On March 5th, Biden named Tim Wu, a Columbia Law School professor and an anti-monopoly advocate who has argued that Facebook should be broken up, to the newly created position of head of competition policy at the National Economic Council, which advises the President on economic-policy matters. On March 22nd, Biden nominated Khan to her current role. And, in July, he selected Jonathan Kanter to head the antitrust division of the Department of Justice. Kanter left the law firm Paul, Weiss in 2020 because his work representing companies making antitrust claims against Big Tech firms posed a conflict for the firm’s work for Apple, among others. Wu, Khan, Kanter, and a handful of other anti-monopoly advocates have been referred to as members of a “New Brandeis movement,” after the Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, whose decisions limited the power of big business.

    Benjamin Woodring, who worked with Khan on the Yale Journal on Regulation, said that she seemed more sophisticated than the typical law student. “She understood the political dimension of regulation and the lawmaking process,” Woodring told me. “It’s so easy for law students, especially relatively green ones coming straight from college, to just treat the study of law as this disembodied language in a vacuum. But, in reality, especially with things like antitrust and civil rights, it is very much a political struggle, a complicated journey that involves all three branches. She was comfortable with the nuts and bolts of how that process worked.”

    Khan started writing a paper arguing that the consumer-welfare standard was outdated, using Amazon as a case study. Amazon had avoided antitrust scrutiny so far, Khan wrote, because of the fixation on consumer prices. There was no question that consumers loved the convenience of being able to order almost anything on Amazon, and of the free and expedited shipping included in an Amazon Prime membership. Khan believed that the low costs to consumers were a short-term benefit that failed to account for the harm the company’s size and practices posed to the economy. She highlighted the company’s willingness to operate with billions of dollars in losses for years at a time, often by pricing products below what it cost to make and deliver them. This strategy has helped Amazon crush its competitors in so many markets that the company now provides critical infrastructure to other businesses, which rely on it to get their own products to market. It also has access to sensitive data about most of its competitors, who must use Amazon’s platform in order to survive. Khan proposed two ways to address the problem: One would be to return to the old idea of antitrust law, which focussed on preserving healthy competition rather than on the prices consumers paid. The second would be to treat Amazon and similar companies like public utilities, and to regulate them aggressively, including by requiring that their competitors be given access to their platforms on more favorable terms.

    Independent businesses tended to be reliant on Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, in order to communicate with their customers and sell their products. Cicilline’s team described the big four as “gatekeepers” that dictated how other firms could operate. They discovered that leaders of companies were afraid of speaking out against any of the dominant tech firms, especially Amazon, and worried that their coöperation with the investigation would become public. The companies understood that Amazon could block them from doing business on its site, a tactic that Amazon had used in 2014, during the e-book-pricing dispute, when it removed books published by Hachette from its Web site.

    Cicilline opened the proceedings from the congressional hearing room. Before the pandemic, he noted, the companies in question were already “titans in our economy.” Since then, they had grown even more powerful, while locally owned businesses faced an economic crisis. “Open markets are predicated on the idea that, if a company harms people, consumers, workers, and business partners will choose another option. That choice is no longer possible,” he said. “Concentrated economic power leads to concentrated political power. This investigation goes to the heart of whether we as a people govern ourselves, or let ourselves be governed by private monopolies.” Khan sat beside him, in a pastel blazer and a mask.

    Most of the names mentioned in the press, however, were longtime corporate lawyers who had cycled in and out of government. Karen Dunn, a partner at Paul, Weiss who had served as White House counsel under Obama, and as a senior adviser and communications director to Senator Hillary Clinton, was rumored to be under consideration for a position in the Justice Department. Dunn had represented Uber and Apple, and advised Bezos during his antitrust subcommittee hearing. Renata Hesse, a Sullivan & Cromwell partner and former Obama Justice Department official who had worked for Google and advised Amazon on its 2017 purchase of Whole Foods Market, was said to be a leading candidate for the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust position. Susan M. Davies, a corporate lawyer who had worked for Facebook, was rumored to be Attorney General Merrick Garland’s first choice for the antitrust job. Left-leaning news outlets published harshly critical articles about the pro-corporate direction Biden’s Administration seemed to be taking. On January 28th, a piece ran in the American Prospect with the headline “Merrick Garland Wants Former Facebook Lawyer to Top Antitrust Division.”

    Then, in March, Biden announced that he was nominating Khan to a seat on the F.T.C. Khan said that she was surprised when, a few months later, she was named chair. On July 9th, Biden issued an executive order instructing more than a dozen regulatory agencies to take aggressive steps to promote competition in the economy.

    Khan told me that her vision for the F.T.C. takes these challenges into account. “Antitrust needs to be on the table, but we need to have a whole host of other tools on the table as well,” she said. On September 22nd, she issued a memo outlining her priorities. One of them, she told me, was to address the merger boom that’s under way; during the first eight months of 2021, $1.8 trillion in mergers and takeovers was announced. Some of the largest corporations were set to become even bigger: Amazon announced a proposed acquisition of M-G-M studios; UnitedHealth Group proposed to buy Change HealthCare; A.T. & T. wants to merge WarnerMedia, which it owns, with Discovery. “There’s a very real risk that the economy emerging post-COVID could be even more concentrated and consolidated than the one leading up to it,” Khan said.

    The Wall Street Journal editorial page, which has published at least six critical pieces about Khan since she started, described her as “Icarus,” and said that her “power grab at the F.T.C. will end with her wings melting in the courts.”

    #Lina_Khan #Antitrust #FTC

  • Opinion | Google Is Dominating This Hidden Market With No Rules - The New York Times

    Last month, Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, asked Congress to consider the idea of regulating cryptocurrency exchanges the way the federal government has long regulated stock exchanges. While his comments drew fresh attention to the unregulated markets for cryptocurrency, they reminded me of another long unregulated exchange marketplace: the market for digital advertising.

    Each time you click on a website or an app, in the milliseconds it takes for it to load, the empty ad space on the page is auctioned off through specialized trading venues called ad exchanges. Alphabet Inc., which owns Google, operates the largest of these venues. It works “just like a stock exchange,” as Google explains, complete with brokers mediating transactions between sellers and buyers. Today, the billions of daily transactions on advertising exchanges owned by tech companies rival the number of trades happening on Wall Street.

    To protect the public and promote fair competition in stock market transactions, Congress created the Securities and Exchange Commission and vested the agency with the power to issue rules and manage conflicts of interest between the exchanges, brokers and other industry players.

    These problems took root more than a decade ago when Google made a bid for DoubleClick, the popular service that helps websites sell ad space. Federal regulators approved the purchase. But they did so without requiring that Google separate the DoubleClick division helping publishers sell on exchanges from the division helping advertisers buy ad space, or from the division operating an exchange, which Google later dubbed AdX.

    Could Google operate an exchange while acting in the best interests of both the websites and advertisers — in other words, both the seller and the buyer — all at once?

    An increasing share of advertising dollars is also winding up in the hands of Google properties. In 2007, about 35 percent of the ad revenue that Google made came from selling space on sites across the internet, sites which trust the company to be an honest broker. But the share going to Google sites has increased almost every year since. In 2020, Google booked about $146 billion in ad revenue; more than 84 percent of that amount went toward space on Google properties like search and YouTube. One possible result: Consumers see more ads on YouTube and more paywalls online.

    The consequence of all this: Websites, apps and advertisers providing consumers with everything from news, games and consumer goods make less money selling ads and have to fork over more money to exchanges and other intermediaries.

    #Google #Publicité #Antitrust #Monopole #Vectorialisme

  • F.T.C. Is Said to Consider an Injunction Against Facebook - The New York Times

    Facebook and other big technology companies — Google, Apple and Amazon — have been under growing scrutiny for how they are wielding their power. Facebook has attracted particular attention for its dominant position in social networking and how it bought smaller rivals such as Instagram and WhatsApp over the years, which buttressed its lead.

    In July, Facebook disclosed that the F.T.C. was investigating it over antitrust concerns. The Justice Department, Congress and state attorneys general are also examining whether Facebook has acted anticompetitively.

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    Leading antitrust academics and others have laid out a case to regulators for breaking up Facebook by unraveling its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. They have argued that the company made “serial defensive acquisitions” to protect its edge in the market for social networks.

    But seeking an injunction of this kind would be an uncommon step for a federal antitrust agency because officials rarely consider unwinding mergers that have already closed. A majority of F.T.C. commissioners would need to approve the move in a formal vote, said an agency official who was not authorized to speak publicly.

    In March, Mr. Zuckerberg said he was trying to unify the apps so that people could engage more easily in private and encrypted communications.

    “We’re building a foundation for social communication aligned with the direction people increasingly care about: messaging each other privately,” he said in an interview at the time. “I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms.”

    But regulators and lawmakers have been concerned that the moves may make it more difficult to disentangle the apps in the future.

    In practice, the back-end infrastructure of many Facebook properties has been shared for some time. Facebook and Instagram both use the same architecture to run their advertising businesses, for example.

    #Facebook #Antitrust #Instagram

  • Pourquoi Google est dans le collimateur de 50 procureurs américains

    Les griefs contre Google ont été exprimés en termes imagés afin que chacun puisse comprendre. « Beaucoup de consommateurs croient qu’Internet est gratuit. Nous savons, au regard des profits de Google [le groupe a dégagé 30,7 milliards de dollars de bénéfices en 2018, soit 27,8 milliards d’euros, pour un chiffre d’affaires de 136,8 milliards], que ce n’est pas le cas », a commencé M. Paxton. Et d’accuser Google de dominer de nombreux marchés : l’entreprise s’accapare 92 % des recherches en ligne dans le monde, son système d’exploitation Android équipe 76 % des appareils mobiles et le groupe capte, à lui seul, 31 % du marché mondial de la publicité en ligne.

    Google est accusé d’utiliser son moteur de recherche à son propre profit, alors qu’il était à l’origine censé permettre une libre navigation sur la Toile. « Nous voulons vous conduire aussi vite que possible hors de Google et au bon endroit », avait déclaré l’un de ses fondateurs, Larry Page, en 2004. Aujourd’hui, l’internaute tombe souvent sur des produits Google ou des entreprises qui ont payé pour figurer en tête de page.

    Le géant du commerce en ligne Amazon, pour sa part, est accusé de profiter des données laissées par les internautes, lorsqu’ils achètent des produits à d’autres distributeurs, pour mieux promouvoir ses propres produits.

    Facebook, lui, chercherait à acquérir un monopole des médias sociaux. Il l’a fait en achetant Instagram, en 2012, pour 1 milliard de dollars, puis WhatsApp, deux ans plus tard, pour 19 milliards – une application aujourd’hui utilisée par plus de 1 milliard de personnes –, et empêcherait l’émergence de concurrents.

    Enfin, Apple est accusé de défavoriser ses concurrents dans son magasin d’applications AppStore. Une enquête du New York Times a montré que les services maison de la marque à la pomme accaparaient les meilleures places pour de nombreux termes de recherche, avant que l’algorithme soit modifié.

    #Gafa #Antitrust

  • Antitrust regulators are using the wrong tools to break up Big Tech, by Tim O’Reilly

    As shown in the figure below, for a popular search that has commercial potential, like visit Yellowstone, not only is the search results page dominated by paid search results (ads) and content directly supplied by Google, but Google’s “answer boxes” are themselves filled with links to other Google pages rather than to third-party websites. (Note that Google personalizes results and also runs hundreds of thousands of A/B tests a day on the effect of minor changes in position, so your own results for this identical search may have different results than are shown here.)

    #gafam #antitrust #publicité

  • Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea - The New York Times

    If competitors tremble at Amazon’s ambitions, consumers are mostly delighted by its speedy delivery and low prices. They stream its Oscar-winning movies and clamor for the company to build a second headquarters in their hometowns. Few of Amazon’s customers, it is safe to say, spend much time thinking they need to be protected from it.

    But then, until recently, no one worried about Facebook, Google or Twitter either. Now politicians, the media, academics and regulators are kicking around ideas that would, metaphorically or literally, cut them down to size. Members of Congress grilled social media executives on Wednesday in yet another round of hearings on Capitol Hill. Not since the Department of Justice took on Microsoft in the mid-1990s has Big Tech been scrutinized like this.

    Amazon has more revenue than Facebook, Google and Twitter put together, but it has largely escaped sustained examination. That is beginning to change, and one significant reason is Ms. Khan.

    In early 2017, when she was an unknown law student, Ms. Khan published “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” in the Yale Law Journal. Her argument went against a consensus in antitrust circles that dates back to the 1970s — the moment when regulation was redefined to focus on consumer welfare, which is to say price. Since Amazon is renowned for its cut-rate deals, it would seem safe from federal intervention.

    Ms. Khan disagreed. Over 93 heavily footnoted pages, she presented the case that the company should not get a pass on anticompetitive behavior just because it makes customers happy. Once-robust monopoly laws have been marginalized, Ms. Khan wrote, and consequently Amazon is amassing structural power that lets it exert increasing control over many parts of the economy.

    “As consumers, as users, we love these tech companies,” she said. “But as citizens, as workers, and as entrepreneurs, we recognize that their power is troubling. We need a new framework, a new vocabulary for how to assess and address their dominance.”

    The analogies with Amazon are explicit. Don’t let the government pursue Amazon the way it pursued A.&P., Mr. Muris and Mr. Nuechterlein warned.

    “Amazon has added hundreds of billions of dollars of value to the U.S. economy,” they wrote. “It is a brilliant innovator” whose “breakthroughs have in turn helped launch new waves of innovation across retail and technology sectors, to the great benefit of consumers.”

    Amazon itself could not have made the argument any better. Which isn’t surprising, because in a footnote on the first page, the authors noted: “We approached Amazon Inc. for funding to tell the story” of A.&P., “and we gratefully acknowledge its support.” They added at the end of footnote 85: “The authors have advised Amazon on a variety of antitrust issues.”

    Amazon declined to say how much its support came to in dollars. It also declined to comment on Ms. Khan or her paper directly, but issued a statement.

    “We operate in a diverse range of businesses, from retail and entertainment to consumer electronics and technology services, and we have intense and well-established competition in each of these areas,” the company said. “Retail is our largest business today and we represent less than 1 percent of global retail.”

    The April issue of the journal Antitrust Chronicle, edited by Mr. Medvedovsky, features a drawing of a bearded man on the cover right above the words “Hipster Antitrust.” In the middle of an article by Philip Marsden, a professor of competition law and economics at the College of Europe in Bruges, there’s a photograph of a bearded man taking a selfie next to the chapter heading “Battle of the Beards.” It is perhaps relevant that only one of the 12 authors or experts in the issue is female.

    The Hipster issue was sponsored by Facebook, another sign that Big Tech is striving to shape the monopoly-law debate. The company declined to comment.

    Ms. Khan was not the first to criticize Amazon, and she said the company was not really her target anyway. “Amazon is not the problem — the state of the law is the problem, and Amazon depicts that in an elegant way,” she said.

    From Amazon’s point of view, however, it is a problem indeed that Ms. Khan concludes in the Yale paper that regulating parts of the company like a utility “could make sense.” She also said it “could make sense” to treat Amazon’s e-commerce operation like a bridge, highway, port, power grid or telephone network — all of which are required to allow access to their infrastructure on a nondiscriminatory basis.

    #Amazon #Antitrust #Conflit_interêt

  • Après la #France, l’#Italie et la #Suisse font les frais de l’entente #Roche/#Novartis

    Les deux firmes se sont entendues pour favoriser un médicament très lucratif au prix de 900 euros et ainsi entraver la vente d’un produit ayant les mêmes effets, coûtant à peine 81 euros. En Italie, l’#Antitrust et la justice pénale se sont saisies de l’affaire et sanctionné les deux entreprises. En Suisse, les autorités affirment être pieds et poings liés.

    #santé #industrie_pharmaceutique #big-pharma

    Une enquête de Federico Franchini (@wereport), publiée initialement dans La Cité

  • News from Facebook – iA

    Everything that Facebook does in the near future has to be interpreted in the stark neon light of fighting antitrust laws. Zuckerberg is ready for big sacrifices to avoid the governmental beatdown. Cutting news organizations out of the main feed already cost him 3.3 Billion. He knew that beforehand. He also knew that news organizations would not love him for his big change of mind. But compared to having the government step in and break up the Facebook Kingdom, 3.3 Billion and a couple of angry journalists is a very small price.

    #facebook #presse #antitrust

  • #Pékin met les #multinationales au pas

    Les enquêtes virulentes de l’#antitrust #chinois reflètent un regain de #patriotisme #économique.

    Tout est dit dans le titre introductif : le marché intérieur se développera en privilégiant le « Made in China », qu’on se le dise !


    Revue de Presse Hebdomadaire sur la Chine du 18/08/2014

  • #Google gagne la confiance de la #FTC


    L’incassable #argument #américain de garder les meilleurs #créateurs ...

    Google s’est engagé, devant les enquêteurs de la FTC (la #commission #antitrusts des #EtatsUnis ) à bien se conduire, pour l’ #indexation des contenus et leur classement sur son #moteur de #recherche . Ainsi qu’en matière de #technologie, il promet l’ouverture des moyens dont il possède les #brevets . Les autres groupes rivaux, à l’origine de moult accusations de situations monopolistiques illégales et non déontologiques, n’y croient toujours pas à cette promesse. Les autorités pensent arroger au géant du #Web pleines libertés, afin qu’il continue de monter haute la barre des #progrès technologiques.