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Jeffrey Rosen, a Stanford law professor, wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Monday that his examination of antitrust cases that targeted big tech companies found that they lacked a strong unified political center.
Mr. Rosen used as an example of how polarized the issue is in the antitrust debate the case of Microsoft. The case, which targeted the company for its dominance of the operating system market, “was originally expected to bring antitrust reform to the operating system,” Mr. Rosen wrote. However, “the country simply wasn’t ready to support such a bold move against a distant giant such as Microsoft.”
That’s not to say that antitrust actions can’t succeed. The Federal Trade Commission has made progress in cracking down on companies that abuse their market power. “Federal antitrust law in recent years has been energized by innovative solutions to guard against technology monopolies,” wrote Mr. Rosen.
Perhaps not coincidentally, while Mr. Rosen and his colleagues are undertaking this line of study, the major tech companies are embroiled in political battles across the country over the future of regulation.