The FTC’s Case Against Meta Shows an Antipathy Towards Mergers, but Lacks Legal Grounds
The Disruptive Competition Project » Competition
by Matt Schruers
4d ago
Last Friday, Meta filed a Motion for Summary Judgement (MSJ) in its ongoing case against the FTC for alleged monopolization. The case, initially filed by the FTC in 2020 and amended in 2021, accused Meta (at that time Facebook) of abusing its alleged monopoly power by using a “buy-or-break” strategy to acquire its competitors. The lawsuit particularly focused on the acquisitions of Instagram and Whatsapp by Meta in 2012 and 2014, as support for the FTC’s argument. As Meta mentioned in its MSJ, the FTC has yet to provide any substantial basis for its case. Broadly speaking, there are seve ..read more
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The DoJ’s Lawsuit Against Apple Follows the EU’s Playbook 
The Disruptive Competition Project » Competition
by Matt Schruers
3w ago
After months of speculation and a four-year investigation, the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) Antitrust Division, alongside multiple state & district attorneys general, filed a lawsuit against Apple. In its suit, the DoJ is accusing the company of violating antitrust laws by blocking rivals from accessing hardware and software features of its iPhone. This is the most recent example of U.S. authorities taking a more interventionist approach to innovative markets, following other digital sector lawsuits by the DoJ and the FTC last fall. This lawsuit marks the third time the DoJ has targeted ..read more
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The FTC’s Request to Bifurcate the Amazon Case Shows the Factual and Legal Weaknesses of the Agency’s Investigation
The Disruptive Competition Project » Competition
by Matt Schruers
1M ago
A recent move in the Federal Trade Commission’s monopolization case against Amazon raises serious questions about the government’s endgame in its suit against the popular retailer. The FTC asked the court to “bifurcate” its case against Amazon, thereby splitting the trial into separate liability and remedy phases. The motion underscores the underlying factual and legal weaknesses of the agency’s investigation and raises serious concerns about the government’s intended remedies. The decision now rests with the court to grant or deny the motion to bifurcate. To decide, the court does not consid ..read more
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Moody & Paxton Oral Arguments: What Others Are Saying
The Disruptive Competition Project » Competition
by Ethan Wham
1M ago
On Monday February 26, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments in two cases that will undoubtedly impact the future of speech online — NetChoice & CCIA v. Paxton and Moody v. NetChoice & CCIA. As I previewed for DisCo, these cases involve laws from Texas (HB 20) and Florida (SB 7072) that would unconstitutionally give government control over what private businesses can and cannot publish online. As such, during the oral argument, Justices were justifiably skeptical of the states’ arguments. The language present in both bills is overly broad and presents critical constitutiona ..read more
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What Is at Stake in the Florida, Texas First Amendment Cases
The Disruptive Competition Project » Competition
by Heather Greenfield
1M ago
After almost three years of litigation, CCIA’s First Amendment challenges to two Florida and Texas social media laws have been heard by the Supreme Court. On Monday, February 26, the Justices heard oral arguments on what are being considered the First Amendment cases of the internet age. Florida and Texas passed these laws to expressively bring more government control over online content after several websites barred former President Trump for violating their terms of service in the weeks following the 2020 election. The Florida and Texas laws would require websites to give all viewpoints equ ..read more
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Online Speech in the Supreme Court
The Disruptive Competition Project » Competition
by Ethan Wham
1M ago
This Monday, February 26, 2024, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases — Moody v. NetChoice & CCIA and NetChoice & CCIA v. Paxton — both of which focus on free speech and moderating content online. Both of these cases challenge specific state laws — Moody challenging Florida SB 7072 and Paxton challenging Texas HB 20 — arguing that, if they were to become law, they would drastically alter the digital landscape and the amount of control private companies have over what they can and cannot publish online, harming free expression and user trust and safety. T ..read more
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Examining State Activity in the Antitrust and Competition Space
The Disruptive Competition Project » Competition
by Alex Spyropoulos
3M ago
The 2023 state legislative session saw seven state legislatures introduce competition-related legislation, continuing the trend of states attempting to tackle this policy area, which is typically addressed at the federal level. State legislatures primarily focused their efforts in the competition space around revisions to antitrust laws, with an emphasis on market power practices and efforts to establish a monopoly or monopsony. Additionally, several states considered legislation that would implement additional merger notification requirements. Of the sixteen pieces of competition-related leg ..read more
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Examining the FTC’s Hostility to Common Design Practices
The Disruptive Competition Project » Competition
by Daniel Luque
4M ago
Last year, the FTC released a report titled Bringing Dark Patterns to Light, which focused on design practices commonly employed online. In the report, the FTC labeled certain practices as “dark patterns” – a label sometimes applied to design practices that could trick or manipulate consumers into making choices they would not otherwise have made and that may cause themselves harm. However, many of the so-called “dark patterns” are omnipresent design elements businesses employ that consumers experience every day on sites across the internet that serve to improve the consumer experience online ..read more
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2023: Tech Research Roundup
The Disruptive Competition Project » Competition
by Kara Cade
4M ago
Wide-ranging public policy debates with the potential to massively impact tech companies made 2023 a critical year for industry research to analyze these policies and highlight the impacts they could have on not only the technology industry, but the overall economy. With more bills expected to be introduced at the federal and state level in the next year that would impact competition and innovation within the technology industry and beyond, this post highlights research that debunked myths reverberating throughout Congress and the media. CCIA’s Research Center finds that the retail industry i ..read more
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Amazon’s Motion to Dismiss Shows the Factual and Legal Weaknesses of the FTC’s Case
The Disruptive Competition Project » Competition
by Project Disco
4M ago
The FTC’s antitrust case against Amazon and its Prime Service includes numerous legal and factual misconceptions that present severe risks to businesses if the case is successful. Amazon presented a Motion to Dismiss last Friday, which highlights the weaknesses of the FTC’s case and underscores how the business practices discussed in the complaint are far from anticompetitive. This post discusses the key concerns regarding the FTC’s flawed complaint and the risks they bring to the digital ecosystem and the economy by misrepresenting common retail practices. DisCo has previously outlined the r ..read more
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