On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit reversed the Federal Trade Commission's win in the agency's case accusing Qualcomm of violating antitrust law through its licensing practices for standard-essential patents covering cellular technology. Our speakers will weigh in on this ruling and explore the history, arguments, and implications for the current debate over antitrust enforcement and the competitive process in high-tech markets.
The Trump Resistance claims the President is guilty of many crimes, regularly abuses his power, and is a threat to democracy. To bolster their case and support their resistance, the President's critics have invented a new body of "Trump Law," rewriting legal norms, standards and definitions across the legal landscape – spanning impeachment, obstruction of justice, "collusion," executive privilege, management of the executive branch, national injunctions, foreign relations, and more. The Committee for Justice and National Review Institute co-host a panel of legal experts to analyze the many areas of law affected by this effort, discuss the threat it poses to the rule of law, and speculate on the long-term impact.
As families increasingly rely on delivery and ride-sharing platforms to access supplies, groceries, take-out meals, and prescriptions, app and internet-based businesses have proven critical throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These platforms have also provided flexible earnings opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Americans during these challenging economic times.
Ashley Baker, director of public policy at the Committee for Justice, meanwhile argued that antitrust “shouldn’t be weaponized to correct problems that have nothing to do with competition law.” “Very little of the hearing was focused on antitrust, but was rather a mishmash of unrelated concerns about technology and tech companies,” Baker told The Epoch Times. “That’s not to say that all of these concerns are invalid, but they are not antitrust problems.” In a letter for the record on the hearing, Baker and other conservative and free-market leaders argued that “weaponizing antitrust for broader socioeconomic purposes would fundamentally alter the primary goal of antitrust, undermine the rule of law, and negatively impact consumers.”
Several conservative groups are concerned that the right’s fury at Big Tech was channeled improperly toward support for antitrust enforcement and want to steer it toward different policy goals. More than a dozen conservative groups formed a new “Alliance on Antitrust” to dampen the populist antitrust movement’s momentum.
We would like to emphasize the need to distinguish between the proper and improper uses of antitrust in approaching discussions of market power, and are concerned that today’s hearing could lead to the use of antitrust to address concerns surrounding online content moderation, data privacy, equality, or other socio-political issues that are unrelated to the competitive process.
The Alliance on Antitrust officially launches today, the same day the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook are set to testify in a major antitrust hearing. The new group brings together more than a dozen right-of-center groups and individuals and is spearheaded by the Committee for Justice, a Republican group that promotes conservative judicial nominees.
America’s technology companies have created huge gains for consumers, developing networks and products that connect the world in ways that were inconceivable just 20 years ago. Yet this progress has not been without its critics. The dominance of large platforms has led to concerns about the harmful effects of lock-in and path dependency, with many arguing the technology sector is unique and requires new approaches to antitrust policy. In particular, it is argued that the consumer welfare standard that guides American antitrust policy is ineffective for regulating Big Tech. Yet with the lack of demonstrable consumer harm, would increased government interventions improve the market?