Although much attention has been given to last week’s report that federal and state governments conducting antitrust investigations of Google in the US may file lawsuits as soon as this summer, those keeping score at home would be wise to manage their expectations for a groundbreaking case.
Exactly what kind of case the government is thinking about bringing is not clear, but it appears on track to involve claims that Google has abused a dominant market position in search and advertising. Yet if recent history teaches us anything about such monopolization cases, it is that they are difficult to bring and to expect, at most, incremental–not sweeping–changes in the course of the antitrust laws. That is because any case the government brings will be confined by a strong case law precedent that has in recent decades significantly curtailed the reach of monopolization laws in the US.
Those looking for big change anytime soon would be wise to instead put their energy elsewhere, such as new tech-specific industry regulations. Looking to competition laws—at least as they are currently crafted—for a big fix is only likely to disappoint and frustrate. Continue reading “Don’t believe the hype: managing expectations for the antitrust investigation of Google”
The absence of an effective remedy in Europe’s seminal Google Shopping case nearly three years since the decision reveals much about the limits of antitrust laws and the need for a new frontier in tech regulation.
While the European Commission and Google fight it out on appeal over whether the company violated antitrust laws by using Google Search to promote its own comparison shopping service, a debate outside the courtroom focuses on the appropriate remedy in the case. The relief to date is not working the way it was expected to, raising serious questions about the underlying theory of the case and the limits of competition laws. Much is at stake as the rest of the world watches to see whether Europe’s quagmire means that antitrust laws need to be pushed further in order to deal with digital platforms, or if their limits reveal the need for new forms of tech regulation. Continue reading “What an elusive remedy in the Google Shopping case says about the future of regulating big tech”
Continue reading “The browser wars: cookies at the intersection of privacy and competition”