Here is a snippet from my talk on reintroducing *power* into #competitionlaw #antitrust at the @W_AT_World UK event. It's a bit techy, and since it's just a clip, and I am talking hella fast, here is a summary of what I am saying...👇 1/
1. Social harms of FB spillover into real world (Myanmar, Brexit) and affect you *even if you don't use the platform*

2. Power comes from profits (99% from ads), power to never forget or to make you disappear, data tracking worse since FB faces no competition @DinaSrinivasan
3. FB owned publicly (by our pension funds) but controlled privately by Mark Zuckerberg (dual class share structure)

4. How should competition policy respond? Tyrie @CMAgovUK proposes overriding "consumer interest" duty. Accuses regime of ineffectiveness and impenetrability. 3/
Wants to deal with “new forms of consumer detriment”.

5. How would new test be different? Digital Markets Strategy released Weds supports Tyrie generally but is silent on this. Currently we have “promotion of competition for the benefit of consumers”. 4/
Interesting: US reforms want to move in opposite direction to @CMAgovUK - from consumer welfare to effective competition (@Econ_Marshall @MauriceStucke) process of competition (@superwuster). 5/
6. Risk: focus on consumers means we go from looking at anticompetitive conduct of companies to looking at only the outcome, consumer welfare, so open to efficiencies however achieved, even if by a firm with market power. 6/
If we are neutral as to process (how efficiencies achieved) and care only about the outcome (consumer welfare) then power is effectively removed from the discussion in antitrust. This is triumph of Bork / Chicago School. @IoannisLianos @linamkhan 7/
7. We should readmit power into our analysis, specifically power to do harm. Companies are not just vessels of innovation and efficiencies. Companies choose how they generate profits and how profits are distributed – both decisions have a huge impact on our economic reality. 8/
8. Must look at externalities on society and costs embedded in the bargain between company and consumer or worker. We have tried to do this by contorting out language: privacy is a "price" users pay, we squeeze works into consumer framework via monopsony. 9/
We'd be better off being more upfront, saying we care about the costs of power and the harms that accompany even fierce competition. We already take account of efficiencies, making assumptions about how these are passed on to consumers, but take no account of spillovers. 10/
9. Some say this is an issue of regulation. But what hope does the regulator have when facing consolidated market power, economic power and political power? There is a reason regulation doesn't do this already. Call it what you like: capture/corruption/culture. 11/
10. Also need to level playing field between regulator and regulated in terms of investigatory process, even up the info asymmetry, allow agency to act faster and with more room to manoeuvre. Yes need to be aware of rule of law / legal certainty. 12/
11. Challenge set by BEIS was to restore public confidence in markets, leaving unspoken what might happen if confidence is not restored. Antitrust is not only tool, but if we can look more directly at corporate power and stakeholder detriment then could be part of solution. 13/
12. We can continue to ask ourselves *whether* we should do something but I think time has come to ask what we can do as individual nation states, what will the US authorities do, what will they not be prepared to do, and how can we in the UK / Europe can fill the gap. /END!
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