House Judiciary Committee Reports on Competition in Digital Markets
October 6, 2020
The House Judiciary Committee has released its report following a years-long investigation of competition in digital markets. "[O]nline platforms’ dominance carries significant costs. It has diminished consumer choice, eroded innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy, weakened the vibrancy of the free and diverse press, and undermined Americans’ privacy," the Majority Staff report states. The Committee also found that the Federal Trade Commission had neglected to use the antitrust authorities granted to the agency by Congress. "In its first hundred years, the FTC promulgated only one rule defining an "unfair method of competition," the report notes. EPIC had previously told the Committee that merger review must consider data protection. "The United States stands virtually alone in its unwillingness to address privacy as an increasingly important dimension of competition in the digital marketplace," EPIC said. The Committee report makes numerous recommendations, including "structural separations and prohibitions of certain dominant platforms from operating in adjacent lines of business."