Ari Shapiro, N._P._R. discussed on All Things Considered
Commitment to training and protecting journalists in high risk environments And from listeners like you who donate to this NPR station. from n._p._r. news this is all things considered ari shapiro audie cornish the house plans hold a series of hearings on big tech and the threat of monopoly power meanwhile regulators plan to probe four tech giants in particular the drumbeat to crack down on facebook amazon google and apple is growing louder here in the u._s. n._p._r.'s shahani has been following the latest developments in arthur to begin it's been a long time right where the american political establishment has been criticized for basically giving tech giants pass that doesn't seem to be the case now what's going on yeah that's right the house judiciary committee announced yesterday they're going to hold multiple hearings on antitrust issues so much like we saw lots of investigation and testimony on russian interference in u._s. elections in the role of facebook and that lawmakers are turning to look at the economics of silicon valley and equity fairness i'd say the shift got a real jump start with the presidential candidates earlier this year especially elizabeth warren calling for the break-up the largest companies what's interesting with the house move is that it is by partisan in a statement congressman doug collins republican from georgia he said lawmakers have have got to take a look at whether the market remains competitive i don't think that means he's going to echo warrants call anytime soon though and it's not just congress according to multiple news reports the justice department and federal trade commission going to probe specific companies and struck a deal to divide up the work justice may take apple and alphabet that's the parent company of google and the f._d._a. facebook at amazon what's the thinking behind that division of labor so anti-trust if it quickly but label for a long list of conferrence one concern is merger at the company way too big the f._t._c. formed a task force a few months back to look at that thank facebook acquiring whatsapp instagram amazon buying whole foods and audible so that could be why the f._t._c. is focusing on those two companies meanwhile critics have raised questions about what's happening inside the big app stores are developers of apps getting a fair deal consumers so it could be that's why justice would take google apple or the how does this compared to the developments in the european union they've been at the forefront of the so-called tech lash it is absolutely the case that europe has acted quicker they've drafted and pass laws on hate speech they've leveled multibillion dollar fines against google and apple but whether or not their model of action will you know that depends on who you ask i spoke with two lawyers both antitrust experts one from paris the other chicago the paris lawyer says listen you americans fell asleep at the wheel back in the nineteen eighties you let your antitrust approach focus way too narrowly on one issue if consumers are getting a bum deal because facebook is free according to the american approach akanbi bad but he said european regulators understand the real problem is competition when companies get way too big there's no space for startups now ready picker he's at the university of chicago law school he thinks the u._s. needs to take a hard look at big tech but he does not want americans following the european approach coach even if they've been far more aggressive i do not think they've accomplish very much i do not dave extracted a bunch of money but have they actually changed competition on the ground in these areas i don't think so he says what might really matter is looking at specific well defined ways companies have gotten too much power favor data over industries and then make them share so what can we expect to see in the coming months well i'd say years not months a tech c._e._o.'s are going to be sitting in hearings answering hours of questions much we saw mark zuckerberg do last year investors are going to keep an eye on this so stocks will go up and down a lot in this question of other tech companies are too big the outside role they play in everything we do the fact that one platform can reach more than two billion people that's becoming a mainstream political issue That's NPR's Artha Shahani, Arthur..