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America’s Antitrust Enforcement Credibility Crisis – White Paper

Below is the abstract of my new antitrust white paper, which can be accessed in full here.

I will present it at the Capitol Forum CQ 4th annual tech competition conference in New York City Wednesday on “Obstacles to Antitrust Enforcement.”

It is also a timely and relevant addition to the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee hearing Wednesday in Washington D.C. on “The Consumer Welfare Standard in Antitrust: Outdated or a Harbor in a Sea of Doubt?” because it discusses how the Chicago School antitrust consumer welfare standard remains sound as is, but warns that its application to Internet intermediary platforms is being badly distorted by America’s Internet-first industrial policy and its longstanding Internet competition double standard.

Many will find the 27-page white paper with >150 cites, a very helpful, up-to-date, overview and fact set on the current badly troubled state of competition and antitrust in the marketplace today.

A White Paper

America’s Antitrust Enforcement Credibility Crisis

America’s three enduring intermedia monopolies and four market cartelizations are a result of

lax, asymmetric antitrust law enforcement & America’s anticompetitive Internet-first industrial policy

December 13, 2017

By Scott Cleland: President of Precursor LLC & Publisher of GoogleMonitor.com & Googleopoly.net

ABSTRACT: First this white paper spotlights: the failure of America’s antitrust enforcement to “protect the process of competition,” from three enduring and extending, intermedia monopolies and four active market cartelizations; and the causes of this systemic failure, i.e. lax and asymmetric antitrust enforcement driven by an anticompetitive U.S. Government Internet-first industrial policy and law.

The U.S. Government is the problem here. America’s Internet-first industrial policy experiment and law in the bipartisan 1996 Telecom Actand in the bipartisan 1997 U.S. Framework for Global Electronic Commerce, has proven twenty years later to be an inherently pro-monopolization policy in heavily-favoring the economic and competitive interests of Internet intermediary platforms and technologists over non-Internet competition or consumer interests. This bipartisan Internet policy failure, calls for bipartisan solutions.

This paper summarizes the evidence of America’s three standard monopolizing distribution networks -- Google Standard Data, Facebook Standard Social, and Amazon Standard Commerce -- and how U.S. lax and asymmetric antitrust enforcement facilitated their respective dominances and consumer harms. Then this paper summarizes four ignored, derivative cartelization dynamics taking control of America’s information economy today: i.e. intermedia cartelization bottlenecking the economy; digital advertising cartelization; search ecosystem cartelization; and cartelization of U.S. Internet startup financing.

Second, this white paper spotlights how U.S. Internet-first industrial policy standards have conflicted with, undermined, and arbitraged U.S. antitrust enforcement, and the otherwise sound Chicago School antitrust consumer welfare standard, for online intermediary platforms. These competition-distorting, Internet-first industrial policy standards are: 1) Competition Double Standard, where the 1996 Telecom Act now regulates the same technologies oppositely, despite the full Internet convergence of communications and information technologies since 1996; 2) Wild West Standard, that makes it U.S. policy that Internet companies be unfettered by Federal or State regulations that apply to every other business; and 3) Tech Welfare Standard, that uniquely protects “interactive computer services” with immunity from responsibility for negligence or consumer endangerment. No surprise that standards designed to heavily-advantage Internet companies, succeed and spawn serial monopolizations and cartelizations. Inputs drive outputs.

DISCLOSURES: Scott Cleland served as Deputy U.S. Coordinator for International Communications & Information Policy in the George H. W. Bush Administration. He is President of Precursor LLC, an internetization consultancy for Fortune 500 companies, some of which are Google competitors, and Chairman of NetCompetition, a pro-competition e-forum supported by broadband interests. He is publisher of GoogleMonitor.com and Googleopoly.net, and the author of “Search & Destroy: Why You Can’t Trust Google Inc.” Cleland has testified before the Senate and House antitrust subcommittees on Google. Eight different Congressional subcommittees have sought Cleland's expert testimony and when he worked as an investment analyst, Institutional Investor twice ranked him the #1 independent analyst in his field.

 

 

 

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