Digital plataform

Antitrust Reform: Implications of Prospective Threats by Digital Platforms to Relocate Abroad

By Jeff Bone (Saint Joseph’s University)

Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet (Google) are four of the world’s most expansive business empires, both in terms of public visibility and market value. This paper examines a hypothetical scenario. If Congress introduced a bill to enact new antitrust regulations over digital platforms, what would happen if these companies responded by threatening an expatriation of some or all of their U.S. business assets? It is argued in this paper that if these companies threatened a costly and unpopular expatriation of business, that the U.S. Congress will capitulate to their demands. If true, these companies have reached a critical threshold of market concentration that poses a threat to democracy because domestic governance and control cannot rein them in. Further, it suggests that the global span and prodigious growth of these companies has dwarfed the ability of political institutions to hold them to account. The paper ends with a proposed solution using Google as a case study example. The proposal calls for the implementation of a corporate monitor program pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement between the Department of Justice and Google.

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