L’ Executive Order del presidente Biden per promuovere la concorrenza nell’economia statunitense

Ieri 9 luglio l’amministrazione Biden ha emesso l’Executive Order (EO) on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.

E’ l’EO n. 14.036, come si legge in wikipedia .

GLi EO non sono fotne diretta di diritto erga omnes ma solo ordini alle varie amministrazioni (di valutare riforme normative per quanto in proprio potere).

Qui la scheda informativa approntata dall’Amministrazione.

Segnalo qui alcuni punti.

  • ridurre la diffusione dele clausole di non concorrenza imposte dalle aziende ai dipendenti, assai diffuse in USa;
  • quanto al digital world, questa la sintesi iniziale: << The American information technology sector has long been an engine of innovation and growth, but today a small number of dominant Internet platforms use their power to exclude market entrants, to extract monopoly profits, and to gather intimate personal information that they can exploit for their own advantage. Too many small businesses across the economy depend on those platforms and a few online marketplaces for their survival. And too many local newspapers have shuttered or downsized, in part due to the Internet platforms’ dominance in advertising markets. … This order affirms that it is the policy of my Administration to enforce the antitrust laws to combat the excessive concentration of industry, the abuses of market power, and the harmful effects of monopoly and monopsony — especially as these issues arise in labor markets, agricultural markets, Internet platform industries, healthcare markets (including insurance, hospital, and prescription drug markets), repair markets, and United States markets directly affected by foreign cartel activity.
         It is also the policy of my Administration to enforce the antitrust laws to meet the challenges posed by new industries and technologies, including the rise of the dominant Internet platforms, especially as they stem from serial mergers, the acquisition of nascent competitors, the aggregation of data, unfair competition in attention markets, the surveillance of users, and the presence of network effects.
         Whereas decades of industry consolidation have often led to excessive market concentration, this order reaffirms that the United States retains the authority to challenge transactions whose previous consummation was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act (26 Stat. 209, 15 U.S.C. 1 et seq.) (Sherman Act), the Clayton Antitrust Act (Public Law 63-212, 38 Stat. 730, 15 U.S.C. 12 et seq.) (Clayton Act), or other laws.  See 15 U.S.C. 18; Standard Oil Co. v. United States, 221 U.S. 1 (1911). >>
  • <internet service>: migliorare la situazione dei consumatori sotto alcuni specifici profili (qui di minor intersse): v. facts shet alla voce relativa;
  • <technology>: v. fact sheet relativa voce e spt. i profili antitrust, naturalmente:

A)  Big Tech platforms purchasing would-be competitors: Over the past ten years, the largest tech platforms have acquired hundreds of companies—including alleged “killer acquisitions” meant to shut down a potential competitive threat. Too often, federal agencies have not blocked, conditioned, or, in some cases, meaningfully examined these acquisitions.

Per cui il Presidente annuncia una policy <<of greater scrutiny of mergers, especially by dominant internet platforms, with particular attention to the acquisition of nascent competitors, serial mergers, the accumulation of data, competition by “free” products, and the effect on user privacy>>.

B) Big Tech platforms gathering too much personal information:  Many of the large platforms’ business models have depended on the accumulation of extraordinarily amounts of sensitive personal information and related data.

Per questo il Presidente encourages the FTC to establish rules on surveillance and the accumulation of data.

C) Big Tech platforms unfairly competing with small businesses:  The large platforms’ power gives them unfair opportunities to get a leg up on the small businesses that rely on them to reach customers. For example, companies that run dominant online retail marketplaces can see how small businesses’ products sell and then use the data to launch their own competing products. Because they run the platform, they can also display their own copycat products more prominently than the small businesses’ products..

Pertanto, il Presidente <encourages the FTC to establish rules barring unfair methods of competition on internet marketplaces>.

I rimedi proposti perà o mancano o sono genericissimni. Si v. l’accurato commento del prof. Hovenkamp President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition: an Antitrust Analysis, in ssrn :

<<While the President’s Executive Order has been touted as a “Progressive” document, its content falls short of that. It does notsuggest thatthe antitrust enforcement agencies break up any firms, other than becoming more aggressive about mergers. Nor does it contain any general expression of concern about vertical integration as such or advocacy for removal of antitrust immunities.Consistent with antitrust policy generally, it repeatedly expresses concerns about market power,or the power to profit by charging high prices,butitnevercomplainsabout large firm size as such. Further, while it discusses market power repeatedly, it does not speak aboutdisplacing antitrusts current economicapproachwithconcerns aboutpolitical power or large firm size.To the contrary,it makes no reference to political powerat all,except for this one telling passagethat it quotesfrom a 1957 Supreme Court decision declaring that the Sherman Act:

rests on the premise that the unrestrained interaction of competitive forces will yield thebest allocation of our economic resources, the lowest prices, the highest quality and the greatest material progress, while at the same time providing an environment conducive to the preservation of our democratic political and social institutions.

The passage is important for what it does notsay about political power, even during a period ofgreat antitrust expansion. The goals areto achieve the bestallocation ofeconomicresources, lowest prices, highest quality, and greatest material progressbut all of this within an environment that is conducive to the preservation of our democratic institutions>>, pp. 3-4