Big Tech Antitrust: At War With Itself
Room 109, Level 1
185 Pelham Street
A Competition Lore Podcast Live Interview and Breakfast, with Professor Frank Pasquale
While policymakers, legislators and regulators in Europe and many other parts of the world have been clamping down on Big Tech for a range of misdeeds, including violations of privacy, tax avoidance, dissemination of hate speech and anti-competitive conduct, their United States counterparts have been slow to react by comparison. In the competition arena, in one of the most high-profile divergences to date, the European Commission has fined Google a total of $9.3 billion in a trifecta of competition cases over the last three years, while an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into similar practices by the search giant was quietly closed and no further action is rumored. Meanwhile, the US antitrust community is engaged in a strident war of words concerning the school of thought that should govern not only the digital competition discourse but debates about economic power and market concentration more generally. For Progressives, a victory would be no less than the wholesale disruption of Chicagoan gospel that has dominated antitrust doctrine and enforcement for the last 30 years. Intriguingly, the intellectual fervor appears to have been infectious in the corridors of political power. There is growing support for change on both the left and right, but currently there seems scant consensus on the form such change should take.
Join the host of the Competition Lore podcast, Professor Caron Beaton-Wells, for a breakfast interview with Professor Frank Pasquale of the University of Maryland, author of the highly acclaimed book, The Black Box Society, and renowned for his cutting edge politico-economic critique of the mega-platforms and the information economy. In what promises to be a lively discussion, hear what lies beneath the US antitrust divide, what lessons can be learned from both sides and how the conflict is likely to shape tech policy in the coming years.
This event is part of the Digital Citizens Conference. See the link in the sidebar for more information.
Professor Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Professor Frank Pasquale
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Frank Pasquale's scholarship and public speaking translates complex law and policy into accessible writing and presentations. His research agenda focuses on challenges posed to information law by rapidly changing technology. He is presently researching a book on automation and the professions. He has testified before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, appearing with the General Counsels of Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. He has also presented before a Department of Health & Human Services/Federal Trade Commission Roundtable (on personal health records) and panels of the National Academy of Sciences (on ubiquitous sensor networks and the IoT). Frank has been a Visiting Fellow at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology, and a Visiting Professor at Yale Law School and Cardozo Law School. He served as the ScheringPlough Professor in Health Care Regulation and Enforcement at Seton Hall University. Frank is an Affiliate Fellow of Yale Law School’s Information Society Project. He has been named to the Advisory Boards of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Data Competition Institute, Patient Privacy Rights, and the Journal of Legal Education. He has blogged at Concurring Opinions since 2006. His popular writing has been published by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Boston Review, and many other media outlets.
Professor Caron Beaton-Wells, Director, Competition Law and Economics Network
Professor Caron Beaton-Wells
Director, Competition Law and Economics Network
Melbourne Law School
Caron BeatonWells is a Professor in competition law at the Melbourne Law School and Director of the University's Competition Law & Economics Network and coDirector of the Global Competition and Consumer Law Program. She is also a lay Member of the Australian Competition Tribunal. Her research and teaching in this field extends beyond the law to institutional, political and sociological dimensions of competition policy, and her recent research projects have focussed on competition and privacy in the context of digital platforms, competition and fairness in concentrated industries, challenges in cartel law and enforcement and the interface between competition and consumer law. A snapshot of her previous research projects can be found here. She is the host of the podcast show, Competition Lore, exploring the challenges of competition in a digital economy. Caron has been Associate Dean of the Law School’s undergraduate and masters programs and a member of the School’s executive management team. She is currently Program Director for the School’s first online masters program, in global competition and consumer law. This program harnesses the power of technology and draws on an international faculty associated with the Law School, to offer indepth rigorous and highly innovative masters level courses in competition and consumer law to students from around the world. Professor BeatonWells has taught a range of competition lawrelated subjects in Juris Doctor and masters programs. She is a regular speaker at competition law conferences and is often asked to comment in the media on competition law issues. She is also the Director of the University of Melbourne Competition Law & Economics Network and convenes the Network’s regular events, including the flagship Annual Baxt Public Lecture in Competition Law. Her engagement activity involves contributing to the public discourse in Australia and around the world on significant competition lawrelated issues and on bringing together and fostering constructive debate and shared learning amongst stakeholders. Caron is a member of several national and international editorial and advisory boards, has consulted to the OECD, ASEAN, SSNED and the New Zealand Government, is a nongovernmental advisor to the International Competition Network and the Law School's representative on UNCTAD's Research Partnership Platform. Formerly a solicitor at (now) King & Wood Mallesons, Caron is also a member of the Law Council of Australia's competition and consumer and small business committees.