New Regulations of Tech Companies?


Many members of the public have voiced concerns about whether certain companies need greater regulation.[1]  These concerns mainly stem from the actions of companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon (“tech companies”).[2]  Antitrust enforcement agencies have considered whether current regulations need to be re-evaluated in light of modern technological issues.[3]  Law enforcement officials have also re-evaluated what powers should be granted to these companies[4] and Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hearings have recently taken place.[5]

In September, top Justice Department officials met with fourteen state attorney generals to discuss the privacy and competition issues arising with tech companies.[6]  Specifically, they discussed the amount of data these companies have acquired, including consumer information and the correlated advertising markets.[7] Participants in the discussion considered “whether they have the right tools to confront” these issues in light of our advanced and sophisticated technologies.[8]  It is unclear whether the mechanisms currently in place will be effective in regulating the modern tech business model.[9]

Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California, argues that privacy and competition concerns are not addressed in landmark antitrust cases like Standard Oil and Microsoft.[10]  In response to competition issues, many are calling for new regulations in the United States.[11]  The FTC commenced hearings to discuss potential regulations.[12]  However, new regulation is unlikely to be implimented anytime soon.[13]  Tech companies have lobbied the Trump Administration to institute voluntary rules.[14]  Furthermore, government officials have “indicated their desire for light-touch regulation that would pre-empt some state laws.”[15]  Many believe that new regulations will not be able to keep up with the fast-changing market.[16]  Others caution that such changes could make “decisions on mergers and antitrust enforcement vulnerable to politics.”[17]

However, these issues seem to highlight the questionable actions of the Trump Administration generally. The rumors of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s departure point to this conclusion.[18]  Rosenstein allegedly “told senior White House advisors that he was considering his departure upon the revealing of his secret measures in which he discussed secretly recording President Trump to expose the chaos inside the administration and invoking the 25th amendment to remove the president from office.”[19] Although Rosenstein has rejected such contentions,[20] it is questionable.

Regardless of current political controversies, concerns about tech companies must be addressed by the Trump Administration.[21]  Google has figured out a way to track people’s everyday routines.[22]  Amazon has figured out a way to pay “unlivable wages.”[23]  What’s need next?: the implementation of new regulations.


[1] Cecilia Kang, F.T.C. Hearings Add to Efforts That Threaten Tech Industry, N.Y. Times (Sept. 13, 2018),

[2] See id.

[3] Katie Benner, Law Enforcement Officials Confront Tech Companies’ Power, N.Y. Times (Sept. 25, 2018),

[4] Id.

[5] Kang, supra note 1.

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] Benner, supra note 2.

[11] Kang, supra note 1.

[12] Id.

[13] See id.

[14] Id.

[15] Id.

[16] Id.

[17] Id.

[18] Benner, supra note 2.

[19] See id.

[20] Id.

[21] Kang, supra note 1.

[22] Benner, supra note 2.

[23] Kang, supra note 1.


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Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law