Towards a Global Big Tech Clampdown?

6 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2021 Last revised: 13 Feb 2021

See all articles by Sandra Marco Colino

Sandra Marco Colino

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law; University of Glasgow, School of Law

Date Written: January 19, 2021


Is the tide changing for big tech companies? Legal challenges against them appear to be mounting across the world. In October 2020, a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives published a report on competition in digital markets, highlighting some of the worrying practices of GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple) and proposing ways to rein in their market power. It was soon followed by a historic lawsuit against Facebook, filed by the Federal Trade Commission. On the other side of the Atlantic, the European Commission unveiled the Digital Services Act package, proposing new rules to ‘create a safer and more open digital space’. The initiative encompasses rules for the digital market, and aims to impose special obligations on large platforms acting as ‘gatekeepers’. The Commission further issued statement of objections against Amazon, suspected of using independent sellers’ non-public data for its own benefit. China is also tightening the grip on its own big tech ecosystem, with regulatory proposals to control market power, an investigation into Alibaba’s monopolistic practices, and fines on Alibaba and others for failing to report their mergers. This article discusses these recent developments, and assesses the road ahead for tech giants.

Keywords: big tech, antitrust, competition law, digital economy, data protection, tech giants, competition policy, European Union, EU, United States, US, China, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Alibaba, Tencent, GAFA

JEL Classification: K20, K21, L12, L13, L40, L41, L43, L44, L51, M20, M21, M38, O00, O51, O52, O53, O57

Suggested Citation

Marco Colino, Sandra, Towards a Global Big Tech Clampdown? (January 19, 2021). Agenda Pública, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2021-04, Available at SSRN:

Sandra Marco Colino (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) - Faculty of Law ( email )

6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
Shatin, New Territories
Kowloon, Sha Tin
Hong Kong


University of Glasgow, School of Law ( email )

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5-10 The Square
Glasgow, G12 8QQ
United Kingdom

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