Silicon Valley Cozies Up to Washington, Outspending Wall Street 2-1

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Media Outlet: Bloomberg

Barry Lynn was quoted in Bloomberg about Silicon Valley's lobbying budget:

In Washington, favors typically come at a price though. Tech giants, which are in the habit of buying up smaller companies and also trying to tie customers to their own platforms, keep a close watch on antitrust policy. In 2013, Google -- like Microsoft before it -- was threatened with a potentially costly legal battle. Federal Trade Commission staff said the company “unlawfully maintained its monopoly” over internet searches, though the 20-month probe was eventually closed.

Competition policy, that’s the thing they’re most scared of,” said Barry Lynn, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, a Washington think-tank. “If a Microsoft-style case was brought against any of these companies, it could totally change their business prospects. It could result in radical changes to the scale and structure of their corporations.”

Cases have been opened in Europe against Google and Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft, said Lynn. He’s a Republican, showing that concern about the growing power of the tech giants isn’t confined to the political left.

Not that the left doesn’t share it. Clinton has talked about tougher antitrust laws aimed at ending the “abuse of economic power” by corporations.

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Barry Lynn was the director of the Open Markets program at New America. He is author of Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction (Wiley 2010) and End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation (Doubleday 2005).