Josh Hawley, Congress, Google discussed on Reset



Got more real june. Eleventh congress introduced five antitrust bills the target amazon apple facebook and google and could potentially break up their businesses a few days later. The white house appointed lena con a big enemy for big tech as a commissioner of the federal trade commission the agency that enforces anti-trust laws. Then it made her their leader kendra. Explain is trained ghaffari history. Hey ryan so we've talked about her before but for those who don't know. Who is lena con. So lena con is a legal scholar. And she's actually the youngest person to ever join and furthermore lead the ftc. She's thirty two and she's really made a name for herself. As a kind of expert on antitrust law and someone who's been a major major critic of big tech and it's alleged monopoly power. I think one of the challenges is deep information a cemeteries that exists between some of these firms and enforcers regulators You know. I think it's clear that in some instances agencies have been a little slow to catch up to the underlying business realities and the empirical realities of how these markets work. And so i think at the very least you know ensuring that the agencies are doing everything they can to keep pace is going to be important. So she's publicly advocated for breaking big tech companies like amazon. She wrote a famous paper a few years ago. That totally changed the way people were thinking about how you could potentially go after big tech companies for being monopolies and she has a lot of support politically from a wide range of people. So everyone from progressive senator elizabeth warren to republican senator. Josh hawley have supported lena kahn. Which is pretty notable right. Yeah it's crazy to have. bipartisan support. These days so how big tech industry leaders reacting to her appointment so big tech industry leaders clearly are not pleased about her appointment. Let alone her being chair of whole ftc which is quite powerful agency right because the ftc can block major tech companies from buying other smaller companies so for example. The ftc code in the future stop facebook from acquiring the next instagram. It could even go back and retroactively tried to separate out companies like facebook from instagram. That would be harder to do but overall the fact that someone who so openly has said that she thinks that these tech companies have too much power is now in power and has the ability to really harm their business that that is not looking good for the tech industry so they see someone who could fundamentally harm their business. Do we know much about khan's plans for the ftc yet. We don't know exactly what she's going to do. But we know that she is going to pursue the whole strain of legal thought that she has essentially pioneered around trying to make the case that went. Big tech companies are too big. They're hurting consumers. They're hurting every day. Americans even if let's say facebook is offering a free social media network for people that it's still could be harming us because we don't have as much of a choice about other alternatives that you could use to facebook for example. So she kind of changed. The definition of how a monopoly can harm consumers because traditionally people thought that if something's a monopoly that means that you're going to be paying higher prices like if a railroad company was a monopoly. You would see that reflected in the fact that you're paying really high ticket prices. That's not the case. Here with these tech companies google facebook amazon services or pretty much free to us but lena con has really made a case that there are other ways. These companies are hurting the economy and individuals so our big tech companies trying to counter that argument. Well they're trying to say that basically. It has no basis that you know that. Actually when when companies like google or facebook acquire startups like instagram or fitbit that they're helping the economy that these companies may have not succeeded if a big tech company hadn't come in and bought their business and made them more profitable. A lot of them are really making the case. That over-regulating tech industry could do more harm than good. And so one thing that they're worried about for example is if you start telling a company like apple that you can't free install apps on phones. Well that could mean that you don't have maps and sells on your phone. You don't have even or something like that installed on your phone and you know there's a case that when apple puts its own kind of software like i message or find my iphone on there that you're sucked into kind of their environment but on the other hand people so find the stuff incredibly useful and it may be hard for them to sort of navigate around that and like hack thrown iphone apps so You know the congressman who is leading legislation came out and said he would make sure that iphones can still have absence stalled on them and he would just make it so that it's more fair but we're going to see a lot of this back and forth where industry people in big tax are going to say. Wait a second regulations going too far. This could actually hurt people and make it more inconvenient for them to use these tech products that we all know love. 'cause they're so easy to use the iphone. They're also arguing that if you were to start separating out the different very lucrative lines of businesses and these big tech companies like. Let's say you took away. Google ads business from g mail on everything else that it would be hard for the companies to continue to give away things like g mail for free so they may hang this sort of threat of. Hey do you really want to be charged for your email or for doing google search. Because that's what it may come down to you if someone like lena con enough to see where to break up our businesses right. Okay so just. Before khan's appointment. Congress introduced five antitrust bills. How do those play into all of us. The are very related. Because lena con actually was helping a lead an investigation into all these tech companies alleged monopolistic practices for like a year and a half and that investigation. That she was running was with. Congressman named congressman. Cellini and says alenia is the one who's now really leading all these new bills to try to regulate big tech. Many of the practices used by these countries have harmful economic effects. They discourage entrepreneurship destroy jobs. High-cost and degrade quality simply put. They have too much power. This power staves off new forms of competition creativity innovation so essentially cisa lenient con are working hand in hand to have this two pronged a antitrust action against big tech companies. One is through these actual bills. That could turn into laws right. That could change the game. For how big tech companies are regulated and the other is through the actual enforcement agency. Which lena con is now in charge of the ftc which would go and pursue those potential new laws and actually start finding or demanding. The company's changed your business based on the law. So all of this is well and good but can can really make these sweeping changes. That would fundamentally change the tech industry. It's gonna be tough first of all. She has a narrow margin of support on the. Ftc forest strong antitrust action. You know she has to get a majority of the five commissioners to support whatever agenda she wants to pursue right now seems like things are in her favor but that could change if if one member of the ftc changes the other thing is under existing antitrust law. It's pretty outdated. And it's difficult in some ways to go after these tech companies which are fundamentally very different businesses and the railroad monopolies or even the telecom companies of years past. So that's why congressman says lenient are trying to change a to update it to make it more applicable to tech companies. But if those laws don't get updated it will be harder for khan to make the case that even under these old outdated laws. These new tech companies are still applicable. Thanks so much for talking with us. Thanks for having me. I'm ronnie mola and this is rico. Daily this episode was produced by sophie. Lalonde ellen rodriguez espinosa and engineered by melissa. Pawns hemlock creek productions. Let us.

Coming up next