Today, Public Knowledge launches “Decoding Antitrust Law: A Primer for Advocates,” a new guide to antitrust law by Public Knowledge Competition Policy Counsel Charlotte Slaiman. The primer provides a basic foundation in antitrust law for policy advocates new to antitrust law, curious consumers, budding legal scholars, and anyone intrigued by what antitrust law is and how it can and can not be applied to address corporate concentration and increase competition.
Today, Filmmakers Collaborative SF launched a new film highlighting a successful antitrust legal action brought by the U.S. Department of Justice against Google, Apple, eBay, and other major technology companies in 2009. Public Knowledge President & CEO, Gene Kimmelman, provided commentary and insight for the project.
The United Kingdom’s Digital Competition Expert Panel released its report, “Unlocking Digital Competition,” to the government yesterday. The report proposes policies that it says, “would create substantial benefits for UK consumers, businesses trying to start up and scale up in the UK, and greater predictability for the major digital companies.” The report argues that competition law and policy in the UK needs to be updated to address the current problems in the digital economy, but that additional tools beyond competition policy will have the biggest impact. “Strengthened antitrust enforcement, although having an important role, moves too slowly and, intentionally, resolves only issues narrowly focused on a specific case.”
It seems antitrust is finally having a new moment in the sun. From Attorney General Nominee Bill Barr to Senator Amy Klobuchar, to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to and even President Trump, everyone is talking about antitrust in the context of Internet platforms. While antitrust is a powerful tool and essential to the proper functioning of the economy, antitrust alone cannot eliminate the full array of harms caused by highly concentrated markets. The excessive market concentration and corporate power we see today resulted not only from conservative jurisprudence and lax antitrust enforcement but also excessive deregulation. Antitrust is not sufficient to rectify the very real problems reform advocates identify.