Facebook court ruling shows why digital regulators are needed
Federal Trade Commission judge dismissed by federal district court Antitrust case filed against Facebook Graphic evidence that antitrust law is not enough to protect consumers and competition in the digital age. The primary solution requires an agile and timely regulatory plan rather than relying on antitrust enforcement.
Yes, antitrust enforcement is important, but it’s not a panacea for all abuses in the digital marketplace. There are three reasons why it is wrong to rely solely on antitrust solutions. First, it is backwards and ex post facto. Second, the app focuses on specific events rather than creating a general set of behavioral expectations for mainstream digital businesses. Third, it was slow, uncertain, and systematically curtailed by a 40-year conservative court ruling. In summary, these factors explain why current efforts are totally insufficient.
Antitrust laws are written to prevent continued abuse. It means you have to wait for the evil to happen. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 To the detriment of them In the competitive market for years before the government felt there were enough cases of abuse to finally initiate proceedings.
It’s no wonder Facebook’s market capitalization exceeded $ 1,000 billion on the day of the court ruling. This is the company’s record. The message was clear. Because of antitrust law enforcement issues, you can benefit from abuse for a long time before you have a basis for action. Still, the ability to stop the activity is fantastic.
Antitrust law emphasizes damage to competition rather than damage to consumers. As a result, it is not enough to tackle all the abuses that stem from Facebook and its fellow digital platform companies. Antitrust law does not tell you how a company has stolen or sold access to our personal data. The flood of false information and hatred circulating on digital platforms is a behavior issue that goes beyond antitrust law.
Digital companies created their own rules because the government was unable to define acceptable digital behavior. Antitrust law is a specific law enforcement decision that affects a business with respect to a series of activities. What we need in government is regulatory oversight to set broad expectations of action for digital giants. Without such a code of conduct, digital platform companies will continue to prioritize their private interests over the broader public interest.
Enforcement of antitrust laws is certainly slow, uncertain and reactive. For example, the Antimonopoly Law proceedings filed by the Department of Justice and the State Attorney General against Google are: Trial timeline September 2023 – 3 years after submission. The final resolution may be postponed until 2026, as there can be no final antitrust ruling until the Supreme Court rules. During the 50 years of proceedings, the company is free to prosecute the alleged abuses.
There is no question that antitrust law enforcement is important, but something more is needed. This is especially important when you consider how courts have consistently limited the true power of antitrust law since the Reagan era. Regulatory oversight is needed to establish rules of conduct applicable to all dominant digital service providers. The best way to do this is to focus only on the rules of conduct of the digital economy, without being disturbed by the doctrines and dictations of the past, and without straining the muscle memory created while monitoring the economy. industrial. Is to use a new federal agency.
We knew before us that the digital economy was different from the industrial economy, so a few digital platform companies became dominant. Governments need to embrace the same kind of digital achievement. Yes, antitrust enforcement is important, but it is negative, has limited impact, and is slow. Yes, antitrust updates under parliament are important, but they also suffer from these restrictions. Yes, effective regulators such as those recently appointed by President Biden are important, but even the most dedicated authorities are still hampered by old legislation.
It is not about adding authority to an existing institution. American consumers and competitive American markets New digital agency. The European Union and the United Kingdom are one step ahead of American decision-makers in recognizing the new digital reality. The failure of American action wastes our country’s traditional international political leadership.
If Congress takes the power of the digital giants seriously, asking for antitrust enforcement is not enough. It is time to look beyond the anti-executive courts to resolve our issues. Regulators have helped ensure stability and growth in the industrial age. Now is the time for regulatory oversight in the digital age.
Facebook and Google are joint unlimited donors to the Brookings Institution. The results, interpretations and conclusions of this work are those of the author and are not affected by donations.
Source link Court’s Facebook ruling shows why digital regulators are needed