The following op-ed by CFJ director of public policy Ashley Baker was published in The Daily Caller:
Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple faced antitrust scrutiny in a House Judiciary Committee hearing this week on the “impact of market power of online platforms on innovation and entrepreneurship.” The Democratic-led committee opened an antitrust probe in June. More recently, Republicans took a swing at the controversial White House social media summit, and will be holding additional hearings this month. For the past year, bipartisan enmity has led to perpetual committee hearings on issues relating to technology.
Meanwhile, other companies such as Yelp are meeting with lawmakers hoping to gain their favor.
It was an ironic spectacle to see these four companies sit next to one another defending themselves against accusations that they have no competitors. On the most basic level, the companies are competing for user attention. Time spent browsing Facebook is time that cannot be spent tweeting, watching YouTube videos, or shopping online.
Outside of the hearing room, new companies and innovative business models present plenty of competition. For example, just last week, The Atlantic reported, “TikTok stars are preparing to take over the internet.” Last year, TikTok was the third most-installed app — trailing only WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — and the company spent $1 billion on advertising alone...
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