Elizabeth Warren is calling for aggressive enforcement of the antitrust laws. The House Judiciary is opening hearings on big tech, and the Justice Department and FTC have allocated amongst themselves responsibility for particular Big Tech companies. Pundits are saying it’s time for Big Tech to be broken up. So, should Big Tech be worried?
Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren thinks Big Tech is too big and wants it—and, in particular, Amazon, Facebook and Google—broken up and their past mergers and acquisitions unwound. And the FTC recently announced it was forming a Task Force to look into the technology markets. There do seem to be issues with Big Tech. But is antitrust, as currently practiced, the best tool to address them? Ms. Warren contemplates this by suggesting a new regulatory regime should be implemented to control Big Tech. Should we treat platforms like a regulated utility? Should we pass a new antitrust law that supplements current common law and allows for more vigorous enforcement? Or are there tools available to modern antitrust that can address Big Tech and the issues Ms. Warren identifies? We ask those questions and suggest some high-level responses to further the dialogue.