The growth of major online social media platforms on the Internet has been accompanied by a corresponding increase in concerns about centralization and anti-competitive behavior. Having remained relatively unscathed by competition regulators for over a decade of their existence, there is now an increasing focus on governing the influence and market power exercised by a small number of companies that have fallen into the bucket of “social media companies”. fall. The remainder of this section examines the societal concerns of such centralization, recent moves by regulators around the world to investigate antitrust issues, and an overview of the various solutions being debated worldwide.
The concerns about such centralization, and the almost tautological monopolistic practices to which it can lead, can be roughly divided into economic and social damage. From an economic point of view, traditional competition law has always focused on the idea that unfair practices by entities with a more than ordinary influence on the market can lead to consumer harm. This consumer harm (which includes both monetary and quality of service) is viewed as bad for the overall health and innovation potential of the economy of a society as a whole.