A US House inquiry has been investigating Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet for nearly a year on claims that each company abuses its power to crush the competition. The investigation joins a list of probes that each independent company is facing on anti-trust and anti-competitive behavior claims.
US House Representative David Cicilline (D) who has been spearheading the inquiry into the tech-giants said on Wednesday in an interview that his investigation has confirmed that Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook all abuse their power to crush the competition, as Bloomberg reports:
Cicilline said in an interview Wednesday that his inquiry has confirmed that Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc., Amazon and Facebook are abusing their market power to crush competitors and that Congress must act urgently to rein them in to protect consumers.
“All of these companies engage in behavior which is deeply disturbing and requires Congress to take action,” said Cicilline, the chairman of the House antitrust panel conducting the inquiry. “The kind of common theme is the abuse of their market power to maintain their market dominance, to crush competitors, to exclude folks from their platform and to earn monopoly rents.”Bloomberg
Cicilline and his committee will recommend steps for Congress to take next month. While Cicilline refused to go into what the specific recommendations will be, he does say he is willing to work with Republicans in finding common ground on big and bold ideas.
However, Cicilline describes an interpretation of a Depression-era law called “Glass-Steagall” that separated retail banking from investment banking. Cicilline says it could be implemented into the tech industry in preventing companies from running a platform and then competing on it. In Apple’s case, if the modified law is adopted, would prevent it from distributing its own apps on the App Store.
One possibility is what he described as a Glass-Steagall law for technology platforms. That Depression-era law separated commercial and investment banking until it was repealed during the Clinton administration. For tech companies, it would mean prohibiting them from running a platform and competing on it at the same time.Bloomberg