Big technology companies and a new era of competition supervision

Recently, the U.S. federal government has brought major antitrust cases against big technology companies. Regulators likely don’t expect to win either case outright, but Blair Levin and Larry Downes conclude in their paper published on the Harvard Business Review that the U.S. government does not need to win these cases for them to have an impact. According to the authors, on the one hand, an aggressive litigation strategy might provide a potent disruption to companies deemed too powerful. On the other, these cases might also send a message to the EU Commission, i.e. the EU regulator, that has stepped into a leading role on international competition supervision.

To navigate increasing uncertainty around where and how antitrust law is enforced, the authors emphasis that companies need to understand the complex politics of competing efforts to craft a new paradigm for competition law. Furthermore, they would need to have plans in place for threading the needle and getting deals done.

The authors concluded U.S. government’s focus on big technology companies offers a free education for all business leaders on the current state of global antitrust and growing tension among most relevant regulators. While the timing and trajectory of reform, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, may not be clear, efforts to enforce existing law and to expand it wherever possible has become the global order of the day. According to the authors, this should not be ignored.

These are the upcoming dates for our Annual General Meetings:

Thursday, 21 March 2024
Thursday, 20 March 2025