The USA should get net neutrality and the right to reform

Last weekend, US President Joe Biden made people stand up and take notice: A wide range of actions should be taken Competition in digital markets and consumer rights Help secure. These include the rules on net neutrality, which the Trump administration has repealed, the right to reform and stricter control over corporate mergers.

The list of requirements is one of the following Current moves by DemocratsTo contain the power of digital companies while addressing the growing inequality in American society. In the economy there is increased concentration and less competition, according to the initiative’s bulletin. This raises prices for consumers, lowers wages for workers, and generally hurts economic growth and innovation.

Comes “Right to Repair”

Europe can cut a chip, for example, when it comes to the right to repair. Electronic device manufacturers, including manufacturers of smartphones or tractors, should not be able to prevent customers or independent workshops from repairing faulty devices themselves. There will be one later this year Expect an initiative from the European Union Commissionwhich may contain similar provisions.

Compared to Europe, there is some catching up in terms of digital infrastructure. Those enacted by the Obama administration Network neutrality rules must be restored So that network providers can no longer restrict or block access to online services. In addition, service providers should not be allowed to enter into exclusive contracts with housing associations and should be more transparent in contracts.

The presidential decree consists of a total of 72 points. However, the index of requirements is not effective immediately; It is even directed at regulatory authorities such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They’re supposed to carry out a wish list while accompanying bills make their way through Congress.

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Controversial corporate merger الشركات

A tricky area emerges here: Like the House Democrats, the Biden administration doesn’t want big tech companies to continue to grow unimpeded. For example, the planned acquisitions of the company will have to be scrutinized more carefully in the future. Oftentimes, mergers have simply faded into the past. With so-called “killer takeovers”, companies would have kept their competition at bay and thus hurt competition.

A notable example of this practice is the takeover of Messenger WhatsApp and the photo service Instagram by Facebook. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission and jurisdictions in nearly every US state sued the social network in order to obtain To dismantle the group and its services. Recently, however, the lawsuit was dismissed by a federal court: The Commerce Authority was unable to prove that Facebook was having a monopoly, So the judge.

So the presidential decree is likely to be relatively cautious. The Recently appointed FTC Chair Lina Khan At least he announced that he wanted to amend the merger guidelines. You will have to set “current economic facts” and include empirical data, Regulatory expert said.

At the same time, the Federal Trade Commission will issue rules for the first time to monitor and collect data, according to Biden’s ruling. Companies like Amazon, which operate dominant online trading venues, will simply eliminate smaller competitors by imitating well-performing products.

So far only a declaration of intent

Although Biden’s move was well received, fundamental problems remain: Presidential decrees and rules issued by regulatory authorities are sometimes easier to defy legally than laws. In addition, it can remove a successor government with the stroke of a pen, as was the case with net neutrality, for example.

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For the authorities to actually be able to put desires into practice, a majority of Democrats are needed in the respective bodies. This is However, in many cases it is notThe key positions in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and soon also the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are currently vacant.

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