The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosted an interesting policy discussion on antitrust this week titled “Breaking Up Big Tech: Making Sense of the Debate.” You can watch the entire 90-minute program below.
The speakers, with some of their recent writings, were:
- Prof. Thibault Schrepel, author of “Antitrust Without Romance”
- Alec Stapp, co-author (with Geoff Manne) of “This Too Shall Pass: Unassailable Monopolies That Were, in Hindsight, Eminently Assailable”
- Jason Oxman, President & CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council
- Seth Bloom, President of Bloom Strategic Counsel
My favorite point was made by Alec Stapp, who opened by reminding the audience to be clear about what kind of complaints are actually being made against Big Tech companies. Traditionally, antitrust policy has existed to remedy problems like high monopoly prices and restricted output, which is not the case with the usually unpriced digital products and services that companies like Google and Facebook are providing to consumers. To the extent that there are other complaints critics have about these companies, we should consider them in light of their most relevant and reasonable remedies, not force them into the context of an antitrust enforcement simple because that would potentially allow for the most dramatic structural remedies, like a breakup.
Read more from Alec at the International Center for Law and Economics here.