Dynamic Competition in Digital Markets: A Critical Analysis of the House Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Report
13 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2021
Date Written: January 27, 2021
This paper provides a critical analysis of the antitrust report from the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law of the House Committee on the Judiciary, based on the consumer welfare standard, which has governed antitrust policy since the late 1970s. It also proposes a theoretical framework for refutation of the report’s allegations about anticompetitive conduct of the big four tech companies that we hope will be useful for future empirical work. Using this framework, we find that the report likely overstates the market power held by these tech companies and the extent to which their conduct is actually harmful to consumers. In addition, our framework leads us to hypothesize that the reforms advocated in the report may actually make consumers worse off by interfering with market dynamism and slowing innovation.
Keywords: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, digital markets, anti-trust, competition, consumer welfare standard
JEL Classification: K21, L40, O00, O31
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