Senator Warren on Amazon and Google
Amazon kills the books
Calling out Amazon for controlling the book market seems a bit ironic considering the Federal courts essentially endorsed the company’s practices while hitting Apple with penalties for its efforts to break into book sales.
The Department of Justice accused Apple and publishers of colluding to artificially raise book prices, leading to a multi-year court battle that led to Judge Denise Cote finding Apple guilty. Apple maintained it never participated in a conspiracy, and that it was only trying to break into a market Amazon dominated by selling books below cost, driving competitors out of business.
Judge Cote’s ruling hammered Apple while at the same time giving Amazon’s tactics a nod of approval. Now Senator Warren is calling out Amazon for using its monopoly strength to dominate the publishing market—something both the DOJ and Judge Cote have already given a thumbs up. She may not like what Amazon is doing, but unless she’s ready to take on the DOJ and federal courts, that isn’t likely to change any time soon.
Google kills the search
It’s no secret Google dominates the internet search market, and some governments think the company is abusing its position. The European Union, for example, is conducting a formal investigation into Google’s business practices over claims the company is violating antitrust laws by gaming search results to favor its own products and services.
Senator Warren referenced Google’s practice of favoring its own business and service reviews platform over rivals such as Yelp in her speech. By pushing its own reviews higher, Yelp and other companies are at a disadvantage without any way to compete, hence her concern and the EU’s investigation.
The question now is how much control does Senator Warren think the government should have over competition in the tech markets? Companies this large don’t topple over night, but over time the can lose their top dog status—as Microsoft and Blackberry can attest. That doesn’t mean the tech space should be an uncontrolled battle ground, nor should it be regulated to the point where companies are buried un bureaucracy. Good luck with that balancing act, Senator Warren.