A Competition Lore Podcast Live Interview and Breakfast, with Frank Pasquale
Big Tech Antitrust: At War With Itself
Thursday 25 July 2019, 8.30am - 9.30am
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.
Competition Lore podcast, Professor Caron Beaton-Wells, hosted 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. It was a lively discussion on 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 was part of the Digital Citizens Conference. Click here for more information on the Conference.