Congress’s Big Tech Report is a Victory for American Democracy Over Trillion Dollar Titans
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee concluded its year-long investigation into the gatekeeping power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google by releasing a final report that documents how these corporations built and abused their monopoly power, and includes a series of policy recommendations such as structural and line of business separations to restore competition.
“Chairman Cicilline’s unwavering leadership and the tenacity of the Subcommittee members and staff were essential to the success of the investigation into the big tech platforms,” said Sarah Miller, Executive Director of the American Economic Liberties Project. “Not only is this investigation and report a victory for workers, small businesses, and consumers, it is an immense achievement for the anti-monopoly and Break Up Big Tech movements. Congress should take up the Subcommittee’s proposed remedies immediately. The DOJ, FTC, and state attorneys general should also use the Subcommittee’s findings to support their own investigations into the power of big tech monopolies.”
The Subcommittee’s investigation — the first significant congressional inquiry into monopoly power in 50 years — made plain the insidious power Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have over American society and business. Under the bold leadership of Chairman David Cicilline and with bipartisan support, the Subcommittee exposed conflicts of interest, anti-competitive mergers, and a rap sheet of other abusive actions, including preferencing their own content, denying entrepreneurs access to their systems for arbitrary reasons. These actions have created a climate of fear among small businesses who must rely on large technology platforms to get access to markets they control.
The Subcommittee’s final report comes despite expensive efforts by Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google to avoid accountability. For years, these corporations have employed an army of lobbyists and an avalanche of flashy PR campaigns to shore up their economic and political power. In exposing these corporations’ power, the Subcommittee secured a victory for American workers, businesses, consumers and democracy. This investigation should serve as a model for others in Congress to follow — one that pairs a serious bipartisan investigation with public accountability for America’s corporate leaders.
America has a monopoly problem. Recent research shows that monopoly power lowers wages, reduces innovation and entrepreneurship, elevates income and regional inequality, undermines the free press, and perpetuates toxic systems of racial and class dominance. Strong antitrust law, as well as other governance and regulatory tools, is a critical way that Americans can protect ourselves from concentrated corporate power.