We generally try to steer our content away from presidential politics (no matter who’s in office), but we make exceptions if the news is relevant to our work in marketing. So, yeah, this might be the first time we’re printing Joe Biden’s name.

Broader Context 🌎 Antitrust has been a big theme in Washington since last summer, and Big Tech is squarely in the crosshairs. Suits have already been filed against Facebook and Google; Amazon and Apple aren’t safe.

Why Marketers (Should) Care 😳 Antitrust action could drastically and permanently change the digital marketing landscape, especially the search and advertising pieces of it. It’s not clear exactly what antitrust authorities will try to do (or their odds of success), and it’s unlikely anything will happen right away—but it won’t be too long before there’s movement, and marketers don’t want to be behind this ball whenever it does start rolling.

Why We Mention Biden 👨‍⚖️ He’s quietly filling vacancies at agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Economic Council (NEC), and the unifying theme of those appointments is basically “sharp people with a post-Big Four understanding of antitrust law.”

Biden didn’t campaign on this issue, and he’s not saying much about it these days, but he’s playing his antitrust cards like he takes the Roosevelt comparisons seriously. More here from Wired.

This Isn’t All Partisan 📜 There’s an extent to which certain antitrust laws and their underlying assumptions are simply outdated. Current antitrust law basically assumes that consumer prices are the acid test of abuse—that monopolies usually drive consumer prices up and, conversely, that low prices are evidence of healthy competition. Amazon is a new animal here; they’ve befuddled antitrust authorities for years because the company has been hyper-aggressive, even fiendish in competition, and yet (Amazon can credibly argue) they’ve only ever driven prices down for consumers.

Can I Get a Link for the Above Paragraph? You sure can, and this one’s another first for theCLIKK: sending you to a law journal, in this case a Yale Law Journal piece called Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox by Lina Khan. There’s no way in hell we were gonna read the whole thing—it’s literally book-length—but the Abstract is clear and compelling, and there’s a lot of good info even in just the first few minutes of reading.

Biden will likely nominate Khan to fill an open seat at the Federal Trade Commission, an agency whose full legal powers haven’t really been used up to this point (which presents one possibility for getting the antitrust show on the road sooner rather than later).

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