On December 9, the Federal Trade Commission and nearly every state filed a bipartisan lawsuit accusing Facebook of objectionable behavior. Less than a week later, European policymakers enacted competition laws and new requirements to prevent hate speech online. On December 24, Chinese regulators opened an antitrust investigation against Alibaba after demonstrating an initial public offering from Ant.
Antitrust and content censorship are where tech companies are most vulnerable. Google, Facebook, Apple, Alibaba, Amazon and other companies clearly dominate online advertising, search, e-commerce and the app market, and have been faced with questions about whether they will use it. Excessive use of our power to buy competitors, promote their own products to others, and block competitors.
Companies also face scrutiny for how hate speech and other malicious online materials can spill into the offline world, leading to calls for better content control.
The antitrust push has been particularly strong in the United States, with landmark lawsuits against Google and Facebook last year. Republican and Democratic lawmakers say they are drafting new antitrust, privacy, and speech rules that target Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon. They have also proposed cutting a law that protects sites like YouTube, which Google owns, from lawsuits over content posted by their users.
“This is exclusive time. Not just for the United States but for the whole world, ”said the chairman of the House’s antitrust subcommittee, David Cicilline, a Democrat of Rhode Island, said in a statement. “Nations need to work together to gain monopolies held by the largest technology platforms and restore competition and innovation to the digital economy.”
Mr. Biden has also selected technology critics for key management roles. Tim Wu, a lawyer advocating the breakup from Facebook, joined the White House last month, while Lina Khan, an influential technology antitrust professor, was nominated for a seat on the Commission. Federal Trade Commission.