A 16-month investigation by a U.S. Congressional committee now yields its results in relation to the functioning and operation of the country’s major technologies. In a document published this Tuesday, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google are accused of following monopolistic practices and of dynamiting competition in the sector.
During the time of the investigation, more than a million documents were scrutinized, resulting in a 449-page report. In it, the researchers reflect the fact, repeated throughout recent times in the sector, that these large companies do not favor either innovation or the growth of a market rich in options, bringing together around them how many resources they can achieve.
In this sense, the technological giants are compared to what were once the oil and railroad tycoons, claiming that they maintain absolute control over the market: “Not only do they exercise tremendous power, but they also abuse it by charging exorbitant fees, imposing oppressive contract terms, and extracting valuable data from the people and companies that depend on them.
Research into the activities of the leading corporations in the US technology sector has intensified over the years, also as they have grown. Thus, several of their leaders have had to sit in front of the U.S. Congress and Senate recently to answer questions about their operations.
The report notes, for example, that Apple uses its operating system and App Store domain “to create and enforce barriers to competition and to discriminate and exclude rivals while giving preference to its own offerings,” something that companies like Spotify and Epic Games have recently made their banner.
Similarly, Google has been accused of increasing its revenue-generating efforts in the web and not referring users to third party sites; or Amazon of taking advantage of its position as the responsible party to the detriment of external vendors who distribute through its service.
To put an end to this, more regulation will be needed, as proposed, to allow greater control over the monopolistic practices of these companies. A quest to even out the competition scenario could include proposals “like forcing Google to divest and separate from YouTube, or having Facebook do the same with Instagram and WhatsApp,” they say.