Rep. Pramila Jayapar’s Amazon undermines legislation,”Termination of Platform Monopoly LawIn an interview with GeekWire, the Democrats of the seventh district said that this may force the company to dissolve and has won the support of the Biden administration.
“Actually, they are supportive,” Jayapar said In the recorded interview“You may have seen that they appointed some of the best people we are pushing, (Federal Trade Commission Chairman) Lina Khan, (National Economic Council Deputy Director) Bharat Ramamurti, (Special Assistant to the President) Tim Wu, and Many others.
“Even the Antitrust Attorney General (Jonathan Kanter) is a good choice. We are excited for him. So it looks very good.”
The legislation appears to target Amazon, restricting its antitrust restrictions to retail sales companies with a market value of “over 600 billion US dollars” and is part of five antitrust programs that limit the power and influence of the four major technology companies: Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple.
As an integral part of the overall legislative program, the “Termination of Platform Monopoly Law” aims to prevent the dominant platform from exploiting power across multiple lines of business in a way that puts competitors using the same platform at a disadvantage.For example, the bill can eliminate Amazon basics Because Amazon owns the platform, and these Basics products directly compete with other users who sell similar products.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on a recent Jayapal interview, instead citing a June statement by Brian Huseman, the company’s vice president of public policy.
“We are still analyzing these bills, but as far as we know, we believe they will have a significant negative impact on the hundreds of thousands of U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises that sell in our stores, as well as tens of millions of purchases from Amazon. ,” Huseman wrote.
“More than half a million American small and medium-sized enterprises make a living through Amazon’s market. If they can’t reach Amazon’s customers, it will be more difficult for these third-party sellers to create visibility for their business and obtain comparable income. Income.”
Doug RoseThe University of Washington law professor and antitrust expert said he has no doubt that the government is at least enthusiastic about legislation. He agrees with Jayapar’s view that the appointment of Khan, Wu and Kanter indicates that the highest level of government is rethinking antitrust laws.
However, he added that he does not believe that the way Amazon conducts its business violates current antitrust standards — at least the courts have interpreted these standards in the past 40 years.
“Legislation says,’You can be a market, a seller, or a commodity-you can’t have both,'” Ross said. “But when you enter Safeway, you will see the national brand of peanut butter. You will see Safeway’s own brand. But no one thinks this is a violation of antitrust laws.”
This is a fact, and antitrust experts agree. But it is true that supermarkets rarely (if any) place their own brands on the preferred shelf positions of more popular national brands-Amazon is often accused of doing so in its online marketplace.
In addition, Jayapar said, Amazon has access to large amounts of data from its suppliers and uses it unfairly in a way that supermarkets cannot.
“Then they collected all the data on every seller sold in the market,” Jayapar said. “Then they produce their own private label products to compete with the products on the market. All of this means that a small business is indeed in an extremely unfair situation. They are not acting according to the same rules and all their data has been stolen. NS.”
Taken together, the five bills Will create a frame Split large technology companies into smaller companies (such as Amazon and Amazon Web Services); make mergers more expensive and difficult; split companies that use their dominance in one area to gain a foothold in another; and block those Creating a company that is said to be an open market, but just playing with it to support their own products.
Comprehensive plan for House Democrats and Republicans After months of study And Congress’s investigation of the enormous power and financial impact of large technology companies and existing regulations that restrict it.
Spokespersons for Facebook, Google, and Apple all declined to comment on Jayapar’s disclosure of government support for her legislation.And all Point out previous comments Oppose a package of legislation, believing that it is harmful to businesses and consumers.
Ross said that technology companies’ attention to consumer harm is not accidental. Since the late 1970s, the formation of modern antitrust law is the view that consumer welfare should be an overriding concern, not compulsory competition. landscape, Supported by the late U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert Bock, And the subsequent court decision basically made the anti-monopoly regulations basically unconstrained when it involves large technology companies.
After all, people’s thinking is, what is the harm of antitrust to consumers when major products such as Google and Facebook are provided for free?
But Ross said that consumer-centric antitrust thinking is not always the case.
Initially, the antitrust law Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890The act forced the dissolution of the organization Standard Oil Monopoly (also called trust), Specially targeted at anti-competitive business practices, such as acquisitions or forcing competitors to control specific markets.
“But we have since redefined what is legal and what is illegal,” Ross said.
The legislative promotion of Jayapal, and the bipartisan legislator group that supports the entire antitrust plan, is equivalent to an attempt to partially return to the original concept of antitrust, that is, commercial competition and innovation should be the most important concerns-this idea got Wu He sweat.
In fact, it is Khan’s seminal paper on this exact issue because it is related to Amazon This may help her be appointed as FTC chairman.
Jayapar said she hopes that the House of Representatives can submit all five bills to the Senate, “In the next three to six months. “
Ross doesn’t think it is necessary. He believes that the consumer focus of antitrust theory is the logical evolution of the law from monopoly in the late 1800s and early 1900s to a modern, efficient, consumer-oriented economy. “I think the antitrust laws we now have are sufficient to solve any antitrust issues we face,” he said.