A US House of Representatives panel looking into abuses of market power by four of the biggest technology companies found they used “killer acquisitions” to smite rivals, charged exorbitant fees and forced small businesses into “oppressive” contracts in the name of profit.
The antitrust subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee recommended that Alphabet’s Google, Apple, Amazon.com and Facebook should not both control and compete in related businesses, but stopped short of saying a specific company should be broken up.
The scathing 449-page report described dozens of instances where the companies misused their power, revealing corporate cultures apparently bent on doing what they could to maintain dominance over large portions of the internet.
In anticipation of the report, Amazon warned in a blog post Tuesday against “fringe notions of antitrust” and market interventions that “would kill off independent retailers and punish consumers by forcing small businesses out of popular online stores, raising prices and reducing consumer choice.” Google said in a statement that it competes “fairly in a fast-moving and highly competitive industry. Facebook called itself “an American success story” in response to the report.