After decades of global expansion and integration into the tech sector, antitrust is now a major issue for industry worldwide.
In what has been a slow and splattering series of disproportionate actions over the past decade, the United States has a notable hanger worldwide in rapid and broad chains against the industry over the past few weeks.
These actions are more prominent than in China, where competition officials have – after many years of a reasonably law-fair policy for their Internet giants – suddenly decided to take comprehensive action against their biggest tech companies.
That movement started after the Chinese Regulators broke ant record in early November. Ant is one of the most important tech companies in China, a fintech company looking at a northward valuation of $ 300 billion and has 1.3 billion active users focused on China and the overseas Chinese diaspora globally.
Led to that regulatory action Alibaba’s market cap drops to $ 60 billion immediately, Gave Alibaba 33% stake in Ant.
The bad news from Beijing continues for the tech industry, though. earlier this week, Market regulators put forward a “reform” plan For Ant, including tough lending standards, which are expected to profoundly affect the high-flying company’s revenue, margins and growth. The Wall Street Journal reported this morning China has specifically intended to “shrink” Jack Ma’s own influence on his business empire, with the government acquiring potentially large proprietary bets in tech companies as well.
In addition, Beijing seems willing to force Alibaba and Tencent to treat each other well and create a breathing space for startups outside their two inter-locking corporate webs. Earlier this month, Officials fined Alibaba a nominal amount and also reviewed a Tencent takeoverAction, considered by analysts to be the opening shots in a new round of antitrust intervention. Further action is expected in 2021.
It is not just China, although it is bringing tech companies on its heel. About a year ago, Germany-based delivery hero Announced a $ 4 billion acquisition of Seoul-based Bedal MinjokA popular food delivery app. Yesterday, South Korean competition officials ordered delivery hero Split your existing local distribution assets to obtain approval for acquisition – A demand that was one of the reasons for achieving Badle Minjok in the first place. Delivery Hero states that It will sell its unit to complete the transaction.
During this month, Europe and soon Brexited Britain Announced new policies and regulations designed to increase competition in the technology sector, Including increasing legal liabilities for illegal content, increasing transparency around services and mandating open competition on major platforms. Those Policies have been around for a long time, But now that they are starting to gain traction, they portray major changes in how the highest level of technology companies can operate on the old continent.
While many of these global policies are designed to undermine consolidation and scale in the industry, regulators in India are already working to curb such scale. Local competition officials announced in November Structure that will prevent any company from owning more than 30% of local payment volume, And also make financial difference standards mandatory. This policy seems to be designed to avoid the kind of fintech duel between Alipay and WeChat Pay in China.
Because of all this global retaliatory action, backwardness has actually been the United States, perhaps because the largest tech giants are all headquartered domestically. While Congress, the president, and dozens of state attorneys general are growing rapidly in the realm of companies like Amazon, Google, And Facebook, action against veterans happens very quickly.
The biggest and notable action ever Earlier this month a massive lawsuit was filed against Facebook by 46 states. As we reported then, the lawsuit “alleges that the company purchased competitors ‘illegally’ and ‘violently’ to grow and protect its market power. The suit cited Of facebook Takeover of Instagram and WhatsApp as prime examples.
Of course, as some of us remember with the US government case against Microsoft from the 1990s, antitrust lawsuits often take years to work their way through the courts – and in the end somehow Even if there is a change in the way, not much happens.
Whether or not a Biden administration will dramatically change the course of these actions is accompanied by offering very limited insights as it prepares to take office next month.
However, all these antitrust actions taking place globally within weeks of each other for Tech in 2021 lead to massive regulatory setbacks.