Delrahim said factors that must be considered include “network impacts ” — when a company attains a lot of market share that barriers to entry for competitors are prohibitively high.
Delrahim took inventory in his address of historical anti-trust actions against Standard Oil, AT&T and Microsoft and said ’s no demand for new anti-trust laws; those on the books suffice for the new digital arena where the planet ’s most valuable companies are in the technology industry.
“The current landscape indicates that there are just a couple of major players in major digital spaces, such as internet search, social networks, mobile and desktop operating systems, and electronic book revenue,” he said. “That is true in certain input markets as well. ”
He said “two businesses may compete to expand privacy protections for services or products. ”
Econ One Research managing director Hal Singer, in a Twitter article, called it a fiction that platforms can compete on privacy, translating Delrahim as indicating that no new regulations are required to create such firms as Facebook and Google more responsive to user data privacy.
The Massachusetts senator and presidential hopeful said he lobbied on behalf of Apple in 2006 and 2007 on patent-related troubles.
Delrahim stated another element that must be weighed in the electronic economy is services which are, at least apparently, free. This might include Google’s research and email, and Facebook and its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp, that make profits by collecting data from users’ behavior that is then provided to advertisers.
And he said acquisitions of nascent competitions can be anti-competitive from the digital realm, including when they protect a monopoly or “otherwise hurt competition by lowering consumer choice, raising prices, decreasing or slowing creation or reducing quality. ”
Delrahim lobbied on behalf of Google in 2007 as it faced anti-trust scrutiny over its acquisition of DoubleClick, a rival in electronic advertisements, based on Warren’s letter.
Without suggesting if he intends to move against any specific company, ” he explained factors to be considered in assessing whether a monopoly exists — meriting anti-trust action — go well beyond whether a company’s dominance leads to higher costs.
Delrahim’s speech, printed on the Justice Department’s website, follows reports that his agency has been given oversight of potential investigations into Google and Apple to get anti-competitive behavior while the Federal Trade Commission manages Facebook and Amazon.
Warren states Amazon, Facebook and Google are monopolies and should be split up.
A spokesman for Delrahim confirmed Tuesday that he’d received a letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren requesting him to recuse himself from some other investigations into Google or Apple because he previously lobbied on behalf of both tech giants.
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim was apparent in a speech in Israel he is well aware that just two companies dominate digital advertising, though he didn’t name both, Google and Facebook.
Delrahim also said , by protecting competition, his section “can have an effect on privacy and data protection. ”