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Laws and International Laws

The Supreme Court Case That Could Give Tech Giants More Power

The degree of dominance and the scope that the big tech platforms such as Google and Facebook in the commerce and communication are large and still growing, causing real dangers. It is in this light that Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ted Cruz have decided to charge these corporations for using their immense scope and dominance to kill competition. Despite the availability of various ways of dealing with the dangers posed by the size and powers held by these corporations, there is a united voice on use of antitrust law to curb the situation.

However, the decision to use antitrust law to curb the size and powers possessed by these big tech corporations depends on ruling by the supreme court of the Ohio v. American Express case (KHAN, 2018). The case centers on the ways to analyze harmful conducts by firms that serve multiple group users. Despite the case being against a credit card firm, the law could be applied to also the tech giants. The case accuses the credit card companies of using oligopoly by imposing anti-competitive restrictions on the customers. The client hence cannot have any bargaining power and end up paying high rates. American Express is accused of imposing this restriction on retailers that accept Amex cards. The retailers were advised not to allow any other card over American Express even if the card provided cheaper options to their customers.

The case was first ruled by the district which claimed that American Express had violated antitrust laws, but it was overturned by the Second Circuit upon appeal by American Express based upon a concept that creates a unique set of rules. The concept states that there is a uniqueness like a two-sided market where the players serve different sets of consumers in different but related markets. However, the case is now before the Supreme Court and if the Second Circuit is affirmed an antitrust immunity for these organizations will be created. The move will make use of antitrust laws against these huge tech companies difficult. To immunize dominant platforms from an efficient antitrust review, when it is desperately needed, the Supreme Court should reject the Second Circuit’s approach.


KHAN, L. M. (2018, MARCH 2 ). The Supreme Court Case That Could Give Tech Giants More Power. Retrieved from The New York Times:



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