Inc: How an Antitrust Crackdown on Big Tech Could Impact Small Business
Few small businesses can survive in 2021 without relying on Big Tech. Unfortunately, all it takes is a small algorithm tweak by Google or shipping policy change from Amazon to shut down your company almost overnight.
Now, however, there are signs that the government could upend the large tech companies’ hold on their smaller partners and competitors. The changes may come all the way from the top: The Biden administration is expected to pursue challenges to problematic mergers, and take a fresh look at existing antitrust laws. And the president himself has said that breaking up Facebook is “something that we should take a really hard look at.” But exactly what will antitrust reform look like, and how will it impact small businesses?
Some of the problems with antitrust law are deep-seated, according to Nidhi Hegde, director of strategy and programs at the American Economics Liberties Project, an anti-monopoly group whose founder is working with the Biden transition team on antitrust issues.
“For the past 40 years, our antitrust laws and the way they’ve been enforced has really increased corporate power at the expense of small businesses,” Hegde says. For example, the FTC may approve a merger because it will lower prices for consumers, despite the fact that it shuts out competitors.