Alphabet (Google), Apple, Meta (Facebook), Amazon and Microsoft (referred to collectively as GAFAM) have acquired hundreds of companies in the last decade, almost all without pre-closing antitrust review or antitrust challenge. Congressional and academic critics of the antitrust agencies suggest the companies’ acquisition activity is unique and competitively harmful, in part because it may eliminate future competitive threats and deter future entry into markets allegedly dominated by these five companies. In response, they propose unique merger notification rules and competitive presumptions applicable to these five companies (and perhaps, in time, a few more) that may significantly limit or stop acquisitions.
New research provides a clearer picture of the scope and scale of these companies’ acquisition activity over the period 2010-2020, and how it compares to the acquisition activity of other firms.
Join Bilal Sayyed, former director of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning and now TechFreedom’s Senior Competition Counsel, and a group of distinguished economists for a discussion of this research, its implications for legislation and antitrust enforcement, and the potential effects of legislation that may limit or stop such acquisitions.
This webinar will take place on Thursday, February 10 @ 2:00 p.m. ET and will feature:
- Bilal Sayyed, Senior Competition Counsel, TechFreedom, and former Director, Office of Policy Planning, Federal Trade Commission. (Bio)
- Liad Wagman, Professor of Economics at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business, Data Catalyst Institute Competition Fellow, and former Senior Economic and Technology Advisor, Office of Policy Planning, Federal Trade Commission. (Bio)
- Julie Carlson, Associate Director for Antitrust and Innovation Policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), and former economic advisor to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons and FTC Commissioner William Kovacic. (Bio)
- Jay Ezrielev, Founder and Managing Principal, Elevecon LLC, and former economic advisor to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons. (Bio)
Papers and reports to be discussed include:
- Ginger Zhe Jin, Mario Leccesse and Liad Wagman, How Do Top Acquirers Compare in Technology Mergers? New Evidence From An S&P Taxonomy (January 2022).
- Ginger Zhe Jin, Mario Leccesse and Liad Wagman, M&A and Technological Expansion (Jan. 2022).
- Julie Carlson, The Platform Competition and Opportunity Act Is a Solution in Search of a Problem (Jan. 2022)
- Federal Trade Commission, Non-HSR Reported Acquisitions By Select Technology Platforms, 2010-2019 (Sep. 2021)
- Jay Ezrielev, An Economic Framework for Assessment of Innovation Effects of Nascent Competitor Acquisitions (Mar. 2021)
- Jay Ezrielev, Shifting the Burden in Acquisitions of Nascent and Potential Competitors: Not so Simple (Nov. 2020)
- Is Lina Khan Courting a SCOTUS Rebuke?, City Journal (Dec. 2, 2021)
- Our Comments to FTC regarding their Draft FTC Strategic Plan, (Nov. 30, 2021)
- TechFreedom Webinar: Should the FTC Ban Exclusive Contracts?, (Nov. 8, 2021)
- Pride Before the Fall at the FTC?, Law & Liberty (Nov. 2, 2021)
- TechFreedom Webinar: Does the FTC Have Authority to Issue Competition Rules?, (Oct. 21, 2021)
- Our comments to the FTC regarding their rulemaking authority, (Sep. 30, 2021)
- Our comments to the FTC regarding a proposed ban on exclusionary contracts, (Sep. 30, 2021)
- Our comments to the FTC regarding a proposed ban on non-compete clauses, (Sep. 30, 2021)
- Our White Paper to the FTC on the history of “nascent” acquisitions, responding to the FTC’s 6(b) study on mergers in the technology sector (Nov. 2020)
TechFreedom is a non-profit, non-partisan technology policy think tank. We work to chart a path forward for policymakers towards a bright future where technology enhances freedom, and freedom enhances technology.