Big Tech and Antitrust: An Ordoliberal Analysis

By Manuel Wörsdörfer (University of Maine)

The past few years have seen the opening of several antitrust investigations against some of the most dominant and powerful companies in the world – e.g., the U.S. Department of Justice, numerous states, and the Federal Trade Commission have sued Google, Facebook, and Amazon, and the E.U. has launched additional proceedings against Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. This paper looks at the latest trends and developments in the E.U. and the U.S. and analyzes the different regulatory approaches taken from a distinct business ethics, that is, ordoliberal perspective. The paper aims to derive ordoliberal-inspired antitrust principles and apply them to the current antitrust proceedings and investigations, thereby assessing their strengths and weaknesses. It also aims at developing ordoliberal-inspired reform proposals which might help to strengthen and ‘harden’ modern-day antitrust regimes.

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