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OpenMarket: Patrick Hedger

  • 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.
  • The Flawed EARN IT Act: Rights and Common Sense Should Not Have to Be Earned

    June 24, 2020
    The EARN IT Act is set for a markup in the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as this Thursday. Essentially the bill conditions intermediary liability protections for web services, known as Section 230, on yet-to-be-determined regulatory guidance regarding online child sexual abuse material (CSAM). While the need to combat CSAM is clear, the EARN IT Act is a fundamentally flawed vehicle for doing so.
  • House Judiciary Setting up Political Theater Disguised as Tech Antitrust Hearing

    June 16, 2020
    Sometime next month, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to hold a hearing on competition and antitrust featuring the CEOs of Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, and Facebook. All indications suggest that this hearing will be nothing more than a political stunt.
  • Glaring Problems with Latest Right-Wing Attack on Section 230

    May 22, 2020
    A recent opinion editorial in Newsweek is the latest salvo from the political right against Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Couched in criticisms of tech platforms’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis, the article succinctly lays out most of the main arguments emanating from the right against Section 230. That makes it an ideal target for rebuttal.
  • Let Local News Outlets Bail Each Other Out

    May 15, 2020
    Allowing common ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations would allow them to achieve economies of scale in their sales departments and other keys aspects of their operations. Entrepreneurs and companies with investments in local media are natural suitors to other local outlets seeking capital and other efficiencies. Yet, regulations are keeping these ideal investors on the sidelines.
  • Decades of Internet Freedom Left America Better Suited for the Pandemic

    April 23, 2020
    Broadband investment has rebounded since the FCC rolled back public utility-style rules for Internet service providers. The decades-long trend of more significant Internet usage, enabled by greater investment, left the American economy more resilient to the impacts of the pandemic than had a utility-style approach been in place all along.
  • CEI Submits Comments to FCC Reinforcing Public Safety Benefits of Internet Freedom

    April 21, 2020
    Last year, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld virtually all of the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom Order. This order, issued in 2017, rolled back the 2015 FCC’s attempt to impose a form of so-called “net neutrality” through public utility-style regulation of Internet service providers. CEI supported this move to remove heavy-handed, utility-style regulation.
  • Apple and Google Demonstrate Big Tech Done Right Can Make Big Government Obsolete

    April 16, 2020
    Many see the purpose of government as solving problems that otherwise wouldn’t be efficiently addressed in its absence. Yet, despite the steady growth of government, technological advances have rendered many functions of government obsolete. In the present COVID-19 crisis, big tech is proving that even the most daunting problems are no longer the exclusive dominion of government.

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