A group pushing for more competitive markets is funneling more than $1 million into initiatives that promote stronger antitrust enforcement as US regulators examine whether Silicon Valley’s biggest companies have too much power over commerce.
The Anti-Monopoly Fund, which was started last year by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and the nonprofit group he chairs, said Monday that it’s donating $1,625,000 to 14 research institutions, small business groups, public-interest campaigns and other organizations that examine market concentration in a variety of sectors. Since leaving Facebook in 2007, Hughes has emerged as a critic of the power of large technology companies and stunned observers when he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times last year calling for the breakup of the social media giant he helped create.
The donations are part of a larger effort announced last year by the Economic Security Project to spend $10 million on promoting more robust competition in the technology, pharmaceutical, financial services and agricultural industries.
The Fund is seeking reforms in the marketplace as antitrust scrutiny of the technology sector intensifies at federal, state and congressional levels. The chief executive officers of Facebook, Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. are poised to testify Wednesday in an extraordinary joint appearance before a congressional panel investigating competition in the technology industry.
“The upcoming Congressional hearing involving CEOs from America’s biggest tech companies is a much-needed step toward oversight of an industry with virtually none of the checks on power required of other major businesses,” Hughes said in a statement. “We should not rely on any corporation to self-regulate, and I’m grateful political leaders are transcending party lines to take action and curtail the undue power and influence of these corporations.”
Full Content: Washington Post