Google and Meta continue to face antitrust litigation
In an Interview with Third Bridge Forum, the specialist said there is “strong precedent and a strong basis” to convict Google for requiring company mobile apps to be pre-installed with certain Android versions – highlighting the case’s similarity with Microsoft’s antitrust case over 20 years ago.
We were told a decision would not be made until the autumn of 2023 “at the earliest” and any outcome will likely be appealed. The specialist said it is unlikely that Google will settle the case before it goes to trial because the only action that the DoJ would accept is Google “conceding” the case.
The specialist believes there is “less chance” the state will win against cases related to Meta but that Microsoft could also find itself vulnerable to antitrust actions. They said the current “hostility” of the US government towards big tech could see it target Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition for “monopoly abuses”. One way Microsoft could appease regulators is by ensuring any games acquired by Activision are not made exclusive to the Xbox platform, according to the specialist.
We were told that if the American Innovation and Choice Online Act were passed, it would be a “radical change” to the way online platforms operate. However, it will require 60 votes in the US Senate and the specialist said there is a “big question mark” as to whether this can be reached. The specialist was more optimistic that The Open App Markets bill would pass, given it has “strong” bipartisan support.
But legislators face a race against time to pass these bills, the specialist told us. If the Republicans take back the House of Representatives in the US midterm elections in November, the specialist believes the legislation will be “dead”, with a Republican-led House unlikely to pass such bills.
We were told that scrutiny over Google, Meta and Microsoft would, however, continue. The specialist said the midterms would have “no effect” on cases being brought against them by the DoJ or the Federal Trade Commission.
To access all the human insights in Third Bridge Forum’s Big Tech – Q2 2022 antitrust update – Google and Facebook focus Interview, click here to view the full transcript.
The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.
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