Silicon Valley is pushing back a Democrat-led report that suggests dismantling Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple to ensure competition in their industries, which range from manufacturing to retail to social media.
The findings by key lawmakers released on Tuesday called for an overhaul of antitrust laws as well as the dissolution of the four major tech companies to prevent them from engaging in monopoly behavior.
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“The presumption that success can only be the result of anti-competitive behavior is simply wrong,” Amazon wrote in a blog post Tuesday.
“Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, these errors are at the heart of regulatory breaches in antitrust laws. This misguided thinking would have the main effect of forcing millions of independent retailers out of online stores, depriving these small businesses of one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways available to reach customers. For consumers, the result would be less choice and higher prices, ”the message read.
The report accuses Amazon of accumulating information and data from third-party sellers and using it to bolster and prioritize advertising of Amazon’s own products, from housewares to clothing.
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Democrats have proposed that dissolving the company would prevent Amazon from selling its own products in its market.
Lawmakers say small sellers using Amazon are unable to negotiate with the e-commerce giant and face increased fees and penalties for doing business on other retail sites.
House Democrats have also said they want to prevent Google from owning both the world’s largest search engine and YouTube. The report details how Google is overtaking subject-specific search engines such as Yelp for restaurants and Expedia for travel.
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“We compete fairly in a rapidly changing and highly competitive industry. We do not agree with today’s reports, which present outdated and inaccurate claims by commercial competitors regarding search and other services, ”Google said in a statement.
“Americans just don’t want Congress to break Google products or harm the free services they use every day. The purpose of antitrust law is to protect consumers, not to help business competitors. ”
The report targeted the Apple App Store, which it said shuns market competitors for Apple device users. Lawmakers have highlighted Apple’s feud with tech developers, who allege that “exorbitant” fees are levied on sales of an app on an Apple device.
“Our company does not have a dominant market share in any of the categories in which we operate,” Apple told Recode in a statement.
Last year in the United States alone, the App Store facilitated $ 138 billion in commerce, with more than 85% of that amount going only to third-party developers, the company said, arguing that its rates of commission were aware of those from comparable platforms.
Digging into Facebook, Congress said the company’s “copy, acquire, kill” strategy was the main driver behind its acquisition of the Instagram photo-sharing platform.
In a statement to Recode on Tuesday, Christopher Sgro, a spokesperson for Facebook, disagreed with the report’s findings.
“Facebook is an American achievement,” he writes, noting that purchases from Instagram and the WhatsApp secure messaging system have both been scrutinized by regulators.
“We compete with a wide variety of services with millions, if not billions, of people using them,” Sgro said. “Acquisitions are part of all industries, and it’s just one way to innovate new technologies to deliver more value to people. Instagram and WhatsApp have reached new heights of success because Facebook has invested billions in these businesses. ”