Antitrust investigation into big online players

Could we see Amazon Logistics forcibly divested? The division of Amazon already puts fear in last mile delivery firm owners’ hearts, even before it gets up to full speed and capacity. The US Department of Justice is looking at how market leading online platforms have reduced competition and whether they are in breach of Antitrust laws. The belief is that they are engaging in practices that reduce competition, stifle innovation or otherwise impacted the market negatively. This could result in the breakup of the companies in question.

There is a widespread concern among consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs that search, social media and some retail online giants have over-dominated the market. Apple and Amazon are by far the biggest companies in the world in terms of market capitalisation with Google and Facebook chasing close by in ascendancy.

The Justice Department’s Antitrust division is asking for expert views on competition in online platforms, as well as those who have experienced the issues at a personal / organisational level.

“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division. “The Department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”

The agency can pack a big punch should one be necessary and the behemoths in question could face breaking up into smaller companies, large fines or a combination of both.

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