The much-awaited congressional report on Big Tech firms and antitrust which was supposed to release earlier this week has been postponed once again.
According to insider sources, the House Judiciary subcommittee has received some new information on Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and thus the delay.
However, in the latest news, a media report was able to throw some light on what the report might contain. In a draft response from Republican Congressman Ken Buck, it has been found out that U.S regulators are calling out Big Tech firms to ‘break up’.
Ken Buck, in the draft response, was observed sharing his concerns about the overwhelming power that Big Tech firms – Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google – possess.
According to him, these unsupervised firms have a knack for knocking out their competitors with acquisitions to gobble up as many customers as there exists within their respective domains. Therefore, it is high time this practise is put to a halt as it harms many small businesses in the long term.
He also shared his views on the need for big tech firms to establish a precise business plan that could be explained in a single line. Surprisingly enough, he objected to the plan though.
Facebook, via its family of apps, owns other popular platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Google has a similar approach as it owns Youtube and Android. Amazon is no different as they run a massive cloud computing unit. Hence, for any company operating at such a scale, defining a straight forward business plan in just a few lines is next to impossible.
This pattern of accumulation and concentration of power is something that lawmakers see as a huge red light and do not want to tolerate any more. Thus the proposal which is being expected to come out very soon will call for breaking up the Big Tech firms.
We must note here that it is still unknown how many Republicans are willing to support this alleged ‘break up plan’.
Usually, reports and recommendations which enjoy bipartisan support have a bigger impact, and this is why currently the vote of confidence from Republicans is being counted on and looked forward to.
Buck mentioned that the soon to be released report is expected to blow the lid off many insider secrets of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook, which were previously unknown to the masses. Everyone will finally know how these Big Tech firms use their power effectively to control how individuals perceive the world as a whole.
He also agreed with some of the recommendations which are highly likely to be included in the report.
He is entirely in favour of the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission having the ability to stop mergers.
The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission should be allowed to lower their burden of proof.
Apart from this, Buck also stands by the recommendation that consumers should be able to take control of their own data using data portability and interoperability when switching between different platforms.
Be it Google or Facebook, none of the companies are able to win the trust vote of users when it comes to personal data. We earlier talked about a report that highlights that people trust least on Facebook as compared to anything big tech giant. Facebook has topped the list of least trusted network for three consecutive years. The position of Google is not so different either. In contrast, Apple and Amazon did well, but it’s LinkedIn that has emerged as the most trusted network by users for their personal data.
Now, it remains to be seen when will the antitrust report finally see the light of the day. When released, the report will be concluding more than a year-long investigation into Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, which was launched as a bipartisan endeavour in June 2019.
It will also be interesting to observe how do the big tech firms take to the report and all the suggested reforms that they must undergo. We will keep you updated. Until then, stay tuned.