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Antitrust set to be back in the spotlight in Congress

A Senate subcommittee is set to hold a hearing on "the case for antitrust reform" this week.

The hearing, set for March 11, will be hosted by the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee that focuses on competition policy and antitrust.

Witnesses will include Ashley Baker, director public policy at The Committee for Justice, a nonprofit; George Slover, senior policy counsel for Consumers Report; and Barry Lynn, executive director of the Open Markets Institute, a research and advocacy organization focused on antitrust.

Antitrust reform has been in the spotlight for much of the last two years in Congress. On the House side, a subcommittee released a detailed report in October 2020 that accused major online platforms of having monopoly power and recommended structural separations of certain businesses.

The 449-page report concluded that all four companies investigated by the subcommittee — Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC, Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. — either have a monopoly or "durable market power" in a specific market.

The report contained the views and conclusions of House subcommittee staff and did not claim to represent the views of subcommittee members.

The same House subcommittee, which is Democratic-led, announced in February that it will hold a series of hearings to "consider legislative proposals to address the rise and abuse of market power online and to modernize the antitrust laws."

Axios reported March 4 that Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith will testify at a March 12 hearing as a part of the subcommittee's new series of hearings. However, the committee has not yet announced the hearing or listed Smith as a witness at an upcoming hearing.

Government

March 11 A subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee will host a hearing titled "Competition Policy for the Twenty-First Century: The Case for Antitrust Reform."
March 11 A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will host a hearing titled "Kids Online During COVID: Child Safety in an Increasingly Digital Age."
Industry, legal and think tank events
March 9 The Aspen Institute will host a virtual event titled "When the Web Goes Dark: State Control & the Internet."
March 9 The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host an event titled "Cybersecurity Challenges and Opportunities for Small and Medium Businesses."
March 10 The Internet Innovation Alliance will host an event titled "Combatting Systemic Inequality by Closing the Digital Divide: A Chat on Solutions with FCC Commissioner Starks."
March 10 Wilson Center will host an event titled "When the Chips are Down: Navigating Strengths and Strategic Vulnerabilities in the Semiconductor Ind."
March 12 The Brookings Institution will host a virtual event titled "Should the government play a role in reducing algorithmic bias?"
March 12 Silicon Flatirons will host a webinar titled "Privacy at the Margins."


Stories of note:

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Zoom's tailwinds sustainable post pandemic, analysts say

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