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OpenMarket: Tech and Telecom

  • Don’t Panic Over Ad Tech

    September 14, 2020
    The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an antitrust hearing on September 15 to examine Google’s 90 percent market share in online advertising. Senators who would normally support competition should remember that antitrust regulation is government regulation that replaces the judgment of the marketplace with the whims of government officials and courts.
  • No Market Failure, No New Regulations

    September 9, 2020
    The Senate is about to consider federally regulating transportation network companies for the first time. But proof of market failure should always be a prerequisite for imposing new regulationsThis bar is not met for the regulations proposed by Sami’s Law. Born out of a tragedy and good intentions, the law seeks to make mandatory what’s already happening in the marketplace.
  • FCC Chairman Pai Proposes More Spectrum for 5G

    September 9, 2020
    Yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that at the agency’s upcoming September meeting, the FCC will vote on two proposals to expand the availability of mid-band spectrum for wireless 5G broadband. If adopted, these measures will help Americans get affordable, speedy Internet connectivity at home and on the go.
  • INFORM Me When It’s Over

    September 3, 2020
    Among other depressing developments, 2020 saw the introduction of the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act (INFORM) in both houses of Congress. The bill seeks to thwart sales of counterfeit and stolen items online by third parties, but platforms are already working to solve those problems for consumers. Regulations would likely do more harm than good.
  • Observations from the Tech Antitrust Hearing

    July 30, 2020
    This post collects some observations from yesterday’s lengthy House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law hearings with the chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. In short, committee members addressed a lot of things they shouldn’t have, and did not address some things they perhaps should have.
  • Tech Antitrust Hearing as Political Theater

    July 29, 2020
    Large, innovative tech companies have been invaluable during the COVID-19 crisis, helping to ease the burden of millions of Americans and businesses under quarantine. But that won’t stop the House Antitrust Subcommittee from dragging the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google before it today. The investigation will have a difficult time meeting the U.S. standard for antitrust: consumer harm.
  • Antitrust Tech Hearing Unlikely to Prove Useful

    July 23, 2020
    Monday’s upcoming House Antitrust Subcommittee hearing featuring CEOs from Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple may turn out to have very little to do with antitrust. Don’t be surprised if members of the Committee focus more on those emotionally charged issues than on antirust criteria.
  • How Narrowly Are We Going to Define Markets for Tech Antitrust?

    July 21, 2020
    One of the key points of contention in any antitrust analysis is defining the scope of the market in question. Ignoring existing competitors by narrowing the field of analysis does not make them disappear, however. In fact, proceeding ahead with antitrust action based on insufficiently wide views of the market in question generally has the opposite of its intended effect.
  • A Bright Spot for Tech on USMCA Day

    July 1, 2020
    Today the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement goes into effect. Despite its many flaws, it contains a beneficial provision related to the tech sector. The language of Article 19.17 of the USMCA is similar that of Section 230, the U.S. law governing intermediary liability for web services that has allowed the U.S. tech sector to grow into the dominant world leader we know it as today.
  • A Cellular Network or a Jobs Program? Sprint/T-Mobile Critics Launch Misguided Attacks

    June 26, 2020
    The recently-approved Sprint/T-Mobile merger is already coming under fire after layoffs were announced. But even the harshest critics begrudgingly acknowledge that the jobs being eliminated are no longer necessary because of the efficiencies gained by the merger. The focus on jobs alone as a measure of policy efficacy neglects how economically sustainable jobs are created in the first place.

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