Journal of Intellectual Property Law


While the early days of the internet were marked by a proliferation of new internet platforms offering different services, over time much of the sector became dominated by the handful of internet giants we know today. Discomfort with the outsized role that these enormous companies play in the daily lives of billions has driven a growing consensus that they need to be reined in, culminating in federal and state agencies launching a slew of antitrust suits against Google and Facebook in late 2020. These renewed antitrust efforts will likely be insufficient to address competitive harms in the internet economy, given the enervated state of contemporary antitrust and structural features that make internet markets prone to concentration. Rather, to promote competition in this dynamic sector, sector-specific regulation in the vein of the 1996 Telecommunications Act is necessary. The Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching Act of 2019 (“ACCESS Act”) is a promising example of sector-specific regulation. Its core policy proposals, data portability, interoperability, and delegatability, are important steps toward correcting internet markets’ structural imbalances and restoring internet users’ autonomy, privacy, and security.