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Google scrutinized amidst Congress hearing

16.03.2020
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The US Congress is continuing to call for activity in the field of antitrust legislation and enforcement. It is not surprising that one of the significant areas of interest in antitrust enforcement in the IT sector. Recently, the Senate Judiciary Committee metat the dedicated panel - Competition in Digital Technology Markets: Examining Self-Preferencing by Digital Platforms in order to discuss tech companies using anticompetitive practises in many cases enabled by the size of the company and its market power. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced a bill to limit "exclusionary conduct" where a big company blocks out smaller competitors, among other changes to antitrust law.


This bill is aimed at increasing the scrutiny of the BigTech by putting the burden of proof on the suspected corporations to prove that they are not involved in the anticompetitive behaviour and do not use anticompetitive practices in their line of work. Furthermore, it aims to discourage the immunity from antitrust enforcement for the suspected corporations. "We have a major monopoly problem in this country, which harms consumers and threatens free and fair competition across our economy," she said in a statement reported by The Verge. She concluded by stating, - "Companies need to be put on notice."


A large part of the hearing focused on the case of Google search, which has attracted attention not only in the US but also worldwide. Yelp Policy Head has commented on the issue in his statement during the hearing - "Google was the original gateway to the web. I'm here today to speak about how Google betrayed the web... Google physically demoted non-Google results even if they contained information with higher quality scores."

The scrutiny on the BigTech companies over their anticompetitive behaviour and practises continues to increase worldwide. The recent bill is just one of the many attempts to improve law enforcement in the IT markets.