The Antitrust Commission of the United States Senate has decided to meet to question a practice that could cause alterations to the detriment of the free market: the acquisition of startups by the high tech giants. The names under the magnifying glass are also in this case the usual ones, from Google to Facebook, from Amazon to Microsoft until Apple and not only.
The result of this meeting will probably be the beginning of a survey dedicated to understanding if large companies take control of startups to integrate assets and improve their business or, more simply, to eliminate potential competitors from the market when these show signs of growth contrary to their own interests.
Among the other suspects, there would also be that relating to an anti-competitive practice by which multinationals would try to buy startups even when it is not necessary to prevent them from ending up in the hands of other companies. From this point of view the goal could be not so much to consolidate one's position, but to prevent the improvement of that of others.
The Commission meeting will take place on 24 September and it is not excluded that during its course important executives of the companies being investigated are called to testify. If the senators' suspicions were to be confirmed it is likely that Washington will initiate legislative action aimed at regulating acquisitions in a restrictive sense.
In the opinion of Amy Klobuchar, who chairs the Commission along with Mike Lee, the High Tech Big Companies are currently operating in an extremely limited competition regime, this would result in a limitation of the natural competitive mechanisms with damage to consumers too and their freedom of choice.