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US claims it has enough antitrust laws to bring down big tech

by on11 November 2019

Just does not use them

The US Justice Department antitrust chief said that existent US antitrust laws were “flexible enough” to address the harm caused by technology companies, in the face of growing criticism that such laws cannot tackle tech monopolies.

Makan Delrahim (pictured) told the assembled throngs at an antitrust conference at Harvard Law School hosted by the Computer and  Communications Industry Association, which counts companies like Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google as members.

“Some have suggested changing the antitrust laws, creating new agencies or even regulating the conduct of some firms... it bears repeating that our existent framework is flexible enough to detect harm in any industry and emerging ones”, Delrahim said.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have come under pressure from lawmakers, who have accused them of wasting time arguing who would investigate which tech company, amid a broad investigation into firms like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

Delrahim warned tech companies that collecting vast troves of consumer data could create competition concerns in the eyes of regulators. He did not name any company specifically.
His comments on data and privacy mirrored concerns from European antitrust regulators, who have penalised tech companies for using consumer data in anti-competitive ways.

Last modified on 11 November 2019
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