The Ending Platform Monopolies Act targets Big Tech
That raises possible legal questions because only a select few companies fall into that category. However, Wayne T. Brough, the policy director for technology and innovation at the R Street Institute, a public policy research organization, is skeptical of a legal challenge.
“It was written in a way that a covered platform targets the Big Tech companies while letting other large online platforms such as Walmart off the hook,” Brough said in an email to the Washington Examiner. “But technically, the standards are industry-wide standards, so I don’t know if a legal challenge would be possible.”
Brough also agrees the law would be a detriment to consumers.
“This legislation is more about targeting these specific companies. Prices are low (and often zero [Google and Facebook]) right now, and consumer choice is expanding — clearly not signs of monopoly harms,” he said. “The legislation would mark an important shift from consumer protection as the underlying basis of antitrust to a system protecting specific firms who are finding it difficult to compete in the marketplace. In the long run, that is a negative for consumers.”
It raises the question: Who benefits from the legislation? Perhaps other companies? Particularly those who have taken a publicly vocal stance? Spotify, which competes directly with Apple in the music streaming and podcast realm, joined with other companies last fall to create the Coalition for App Fairness. The coalition website says of the organization, “Every day, Apple taxes consumers and crushes innovation. The Coalition for App Fairness is an independent nonprofit organization founded by industry-leading companies to advocate for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem.”