Break up Google and Facebook, urges Biden team adviser

Break up Google and Facebook, urges Biden team adviser

The group urged that the US justice department make clear it will continue competition action against Google by expanding the scope of litigation beyond search to maps, travel, and its app store. File photo: Sam Boal /Rollingnews.ie

The Biden administration should expand competition cases against Google and Facebook and encourage breaking up companies, according to a group whose founder is working with the president-elect’s transition team.

The American Economic Liberties Project, an influential Washington-based anti-monopoly group, issued a report with guidance for enforcers in the next administration. The group is led by Sarah Miller, who is working with president-elect Joe Biden’s transition team and has been instrumental in making antitrust enforcement against big tech a mainstream issue.

The report’s recommendations offer a glimpse into the thinking that could influence future policymaking under the Biden administration.

The group urged that the US justice department make clear it will continue competition action against Google by expanding the scope of litigation beyond search to maps, travel, and its app store.

The justice department sued Google on October 20, accusing the $1trn company of dominating search and advertising. 

In December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Facebook, saying the company used a “buy or bury” strategy to hurt rivals.

The report calls on the Biden administration to appoint aggressive justice department and FTC enforcers and urges Mr Biden’s attorney general nominee Merrick Garland to “publicly commit to seeking a Google breakup”.

“The anti-monopoly movement is really young," Ms Miller told Reuters. "We wanted to lay out a vision that people in a new administration can rally around and can use as a clear roadmap for not only what’s possible but what’s necessary.” 

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