On news that the Trump Justice Department is launching an antitrust review of big technology firms like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple, a CEI technology policy expert warned that persecuting the companies will do more to empower politicians, bureaucrats, and lesser competitors than help the consumers who now benefit from big tech products and services. Statement by Jessica Melugin, Competitive Enterprise Institute Associate Director, Center for Technology and Innovation:
“The U.S. standard for antitrust action is consumer harm. It’s going to be difficult to find consumer harm among these fiercely competing technology firms that deliver popular innovations and falling prices (sometimes even a price of zero dollars). Moreover, the technology sector provides 12 million U.S. jobs, has the highest research and development investments in the country, and has record-setting capital venture activity. None of those are signs of an uncompetitive market or of harm to consumers.
“What these antitrust investigations produce is mostly publicity for politicians, opportunities for competitors to rent-seek instead of competing in the marketplace, upward job mobility for career bureaucrats, and delayed and missed innovations for consumers.
“The Department of Justice should stand down from investigating these dynamic and innovative technology companies. Consumers know that the tech sector benefits them in countless ways; they likely can’t say the same for politicians and regulators inside the beltway. Markets will deliver better results in less time and with fewer costs.”
> Related report: The Case against Antitrust Law