Author: Rob Lever
Washington (AFP) - The antitrust review of Big Tech announced by US regulators could signal a tough new stand on competition policy, but it may just be a political publicity stunt.
Legal experts said any antitrust enforcement action against technology giants remains far off, and that a breakup of any of the Silicon Valley titans is a remote possibility.
The review announced by the Justice Department on Tuesday for major online platforms amounts to gathering information for antitrust enforcers, which could lead to a long and painstaking investigation of individual companies which may need to go before a federal court.
"I wouldn't expect any of the recent news to ripen into meaningful antitrust enforcement," said Christopher Sagers, a professor of antitrust law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
"I think it's possible that this is entirely grandstanding and that there isn't even a serious intent to do anything."
Sagers noted that antitrust enforcers under President Donald Trump who have been wildly inconsistent on policy decisions would need to make a strong case before "a very skeptical" federal judiciary.
"It's a very, very conservative antitrust regime that doesn't believe in monopolization enforcement, and it is just talking the talk because it gets headlines and suits the popular political mood."
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