Today, many technology companies are competing to get hold of our digital data and profit from it. In that race, they end up expanding their services to position themselves in the market and reach more users, awakening the interest of antitrust institutions.
In that sense, our personal information is something of a treasure for these companies. From it, they can send us targeted advertising based on our interests and behavior online. And, eventually turn into a purchase. That is why regulatory entities focus on the mechanisms that these companies use to extend their reach in the digital world.
Which companies are most likely to fall for antitrust laws?
Without a doubt, the Big Tech companies headed by the GAFA group (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) are the most prominent.
Google has three monopoly lawsuits
In the case of Google, the company has received three lawsuits for monopolistic practices. She is pointed out to limit user searches, specifically when it comes to products that she also markets. In effect, it ends up overshadowing the competition and taking advantage of its dominance to position itself.
Likewise, it is accused of “artificial restrictive contracts” to force other companies to position their search engine as the default option. Even forcing mobile device manufacturers to set their Google services, such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, among others, as default.
Facebook: data concentration
Like Google, Facebook has also come under scrutiny from antitrust regulators. In fact, a lawsuit is currently brewing against him that threatens to fragment the company. This means that you could lose Instagram and WhatsApp.
The social media giant is accused of making billions of dollars by turning its users’ personal data into a source of income. This is due to all the power it has gained through access to our personal information.
In addition to this, it has been characterized by buying or taking characteristics of competitor applications to reinforce its own and maintain its position in the market. Consequently, it ends up strangling the competitors.
Apple and its App Store
The Cupertino people are very jealous of iOS applications. However, the company has recently been summoned by the US Senate for abusing its App Store and positioning its products above the competition. For example, highlight Apple Music over Spotify. Even for charging high fees to its users (between 15% and 30% commission).
What consequences do these practices have for these companies?
The practice of these activities carries millions in fines for these companies. Recently, Apple was fined $ 12 million for violating competition laws in Russia. In addition, Russian regulators require you to change the clauses of your application store, which grants greater privileges to your applications.
Similarly, after receiving a fine from Germany, Google changed the clauses of Google AdSense that restricted sites that displayed competitive advertising.
Thus, antitrust institutions focus their attention on technology companies because of their interest in obtaining the data of their users and making the most of it, which has a negative impact on smaller firms.
Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google appear before Congress for antitrust investigation