How do you analyze antitrust risks facing Big Tech in the midst of the 2020 election?
Big Tech (Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple) face meaningful governmental risk, with both US mainstream political parties seeking to gain advantage by targeting issues of antitrust, privacy and platform liability. Antitrust investigations raise the potential for divestitures and ongoing regulatory obligations as well as protracted uncertainty and distraction in multi-year litigation.
We see a greater than 50% chance that antitrust lawsuits are brought against Google and Facebook, in part due to the autonomy of state AGs. However, the role of Big Tech in US national security and competition with China could be an important driver of outcomes after the 2020 presidential election.
What we’re watching:
- FTC and House Judiciary
- Committee reports
- Democratic presidential nominee
- State Attorneys General
- CCPA implementation
States that have announced formal anti-trust investigations of Google and Facebook
Number of years from filing of lawsuits to ruling by DC District Court of Appeals in US v. Microsoft
Amazon’s share of the US retail market
Fees charged to consumers for use of advertising-supported search and social media platforms