After interviewing Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google holding company Alphabet, the report found "their answers were often evasive and non-responsive, raising fresh questions about whether they believe they are beyond the reach of democratic oversight".
In addition to proposing separations of some dominant tech platforms from the companies' other businesses, the report also calls for the platforms to be required to offer equal terms for equal products and services for all users.
So the tech firms may have more to fear from a President Biden than a returning President Trump. While Amazon called the proposals "fringe notions of antitrust" and said that it "vehemently disagrees" with them, Apple claimed that it doesn't even fall in the same category as the others because it does not have dominant market share in any of the sectors it does business in. It also criticizes Amazon for its online store operations, Facebook for controlling online advertisements, and Google for dominating online search results.
"The totality of the proof produced throughout this investigation demonstrates the urgent want for legislative motion and reform", the report from the House Judiciary Committee's Democratic management stated.
The recommendations seem to be directly focused on splitting up Facebook by forcing the sale of Instagram and WhatsApp.
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The Louisiana governor's office said it had no reports of deaths early Saturday, but a hurricane's wake can be treacherous. In late August, Category 4 Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana, killing over 40 people in the United States.
"The issue should not be whether we like what the firms do, whether we like the choices they make regarding their policies and offerings, or whether the firms are simply big", said Otteson, who specializes in the philosophy and morality of business. It recommends Congress consider a law that prohibits companies from operating the markets in which they compete. "Acquisitions are part of every industry, and just one way we innovate new technologies to deliver more value to people". "The goal of antitrust law is to protect consumers, not help commercial rivals". While it supports some of the recommendations, such as data portability and open mobile platforms, other plans like breaking up the companies or diluting the liability protections for internet platforms "would cause real harm to consumers, America's technology leadership and the USA economy-all for no clear gain", the company said.
According to the House Subcommittee report, Amazon reportedly has close to 2.3 million active third party sellers on its platform, of which close to 850,000, or almost 40 percent of all third party sellers rely on Amazon heavily as their sole source of conducting business.
But limiting Big Tech's efforts to expand into new business lines is very possible.
In a blog post Amazon said it welcomes scrutiny, but it is wrong that success is only a result of anticompetitive behavior.
The four businessmen were in the crosshairs of politicians, who accused Amazon of forcing sellers on its platform to conform to its standards or disappear; Google from appropriating content from others; Apple for discriminating against developers, and Facebook for having an acquisition strategy created to eliminate competition. The FTC is also investigating Google over new climate science findings.