Judiciary Committee Publishes Final Report on Competition in the Digital Marketplace

Judiciary Committee Publishes Final Report on Competition in the Digital Marketplace

Jennifer.Bell2…

Tue, 07/19/2022 - 11:38

Washington, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today formally published the Committee’s Report, entitled “Investigation of Competition in the Digital Marketplace: Committee Report and Recommendations.” The report was initially released in October 2020 as a Majority Staff Report following a 16-month investigation, led by the Antitrust Subcommittee, into the state of competition in the digital economy, with a focus on the challenges presented by the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. In April 2021, the Committee held a markup and formally adopted the Report. The Report totals more than 450 pages, detailing the findings and recommendations from a bipartisan investigation that included seven congressional hearings; the production of nearly 1.3 million internal documents and communications from the investigated firms; submissions from 38 antitrust experts; and interviews with more than 240 market participants, former employees of the investigated firms, and other individuals. 
 
“The report’s findings and recommendations clearly show that it is long-past time for Congress to enact meaningful updates to our antitrust laws to address the lack of competition in digital markets and the monopoly power of dominant platforms like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). “The public wants Congress to act, and there is legislation that is ready for a vote on the floor of both the House and the Senate. I implore leadership to move this legislation quickly.”
 
“It is time for Congress to act. The Committee Report details at length how dominant platforms abuse their monopoly power to destroy competition, exploit other businesses, harm consumers, and impede disruptive innovation,” said Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (D-RI). “The facts are not in doubt, and the solutions are clear. Congress should enact the suite of bills marked up by the Judiciary Committee to promote competition, rein in the gatekeeper power of dominant platforms, and ensure our antitrust enforcers have the tools and resources they need to vigorously enforce the law. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, the Open App Markets Act, and the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act are ready for votes today.”
 
“From Amazon and Facebook to Google and Apple, there's no question that these unregulated tech giants have become too big to care and too powerful to ever put people over profits,” said House Antitrust Subcommittee Vice Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). “This report is clear: it’s time for Congress to act to protect consumers and promote competition. My Ending Platform Monopolies Act would be an important step towards reining in the power of Big Tech.”
 
Today’s publication includes new documents reviewed by the Committee during the investigation, including internal Facebook documents showing the company views itself as dominant in the social networking market and insulated from competitive threats. Other newly released documents include Google internal communications demonstrating how it leverages its control over the Android mobile operating system to prevent smartphone manufacturers from introducing products or services that compete with Google’s family of mobile apps. Newly released internal Amazon documents demonstrate how Amazon’s abuses its dominance over e-commerce to coerce third-party sellers to purchase other services from Amazon, such as fulfillment and distribution.
 
In response to the Report’s findings and recommendations, the Antitrust Subcommittee held a series of hearings this Congress to develop legislative solutions to address the lack of competition in digital markets. In June 2021, the Judiciary Committee held a markup and favorably reported out six bills:  H.R. 3816, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act; H.R. 3843, the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2021; H.R. 3826, the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021; H.R. 3849, the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act of 2021; H.R. 3825, the Ending Platform Monopolies Act; and H.R. 3460, the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021. H.R. 7030, the Open App Markets Act was introduced in March 2022.
 
The full report can be viewed HERE.
Supporting investigation documents can be viewed HERE.

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July 19, 2022
July 20, 2022

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