Understanding the New Antitrust Movement Against Big Tech: What is At Stake and What to Expect

The Antitrust Movement against Big Tech has rapidly gained traction following the Congressional Investigation on competition in digital markets in 2019. The 16-month investigation on Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon culminated in a 449-page report that was published in October 2020. Antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook has since been launched in the United States. At a basic level, the new Antitrust Movement is about restricting unfair business practices enabled by platform-based technologies since the early 2000s. While predicting the outcome of these lawsuits is incredibly challenging given the ever-changing regulatory landscape, we can still foresee some of the lawsuits’ business implications based on historical precedents.

This research package designed to provide strategic foresight to board directors on technology and innovation, comprises of five articles. With weekly and daily updates on the new Antitrust Movement, this research package instead examines the ideological debates and historical developments of past antitrust movements to provide context for a constantly evolving situation.

While we recommend reading the articles chronologically, the fifth and last article “The New Antitrust Movement Against Big Tech: Business Implications and Plausible Outcomes” summarizes the most important findings in the research package and can be read as a standalone article.

Foundations of Modern Antitrust Ideologies (1890s – 1970s), 5 Jan 2021

Historical Developments of The Chicago School’s Approach Towards Antitrust (late 1970s – mid 2010s), 5 Jan 2021

The New Brandeis Ideology (mid 2010s – Present): On the Dangers of Monopoly Power, 5 Jan 2021

Platform and Power: The business Implications of Amazon’s Anti-Competitive Conduct, 5 Jan 2021

The New Antitrust Movement Against Big Tech: Business Implications and Plausible Outcomes, 5 Jan 2021

by Marvin Cheung, Head of Research and Strategy at Unbuilt Labs