Congress Continues Its Hearings on Dominant Online Platforms

On Oct. 18, the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law held its third hearing on dominant online platforms titled, “Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 3: The Role of Data and Privacy in Competition.” The witnesses included FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, Dr. Tommaso Valletti (Imperial College London), Dr. Jason Furman (Harvard University), and Dr. Roslyn Layton (American Enterprise Institute). Commissioner Chopra indicated support for more meaningful antitrust enforcement and penalties, while Professor Furman noted the need to address the under-enforcement of digital mergers. Most of the witnesses expressed support for some form of government action when it comes to competition rules and online privacy, noting the positive effect an enhanced competition regime may have on consumer privacy. Commissioner Chopra also expressed concerns over behavioral advertising, referring to the financial motivations of the platforms that undermine their immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Watch the hearing here.

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