Manatt Antitrust and Competition Partner Dylan Carson and Privacy and Data Security Partner Paul Luehr were quoted in Corporate Counsel on the rising sentiment among regulators to find ways to prevent artificial intelligence (AI) platforms from creating antitrust challenges the same way Big Tech has.
Carson said competition authorities are attempting to “get ahead of any potential dominance problems” and avoid mistakes of the past after regulatory bodies have expressed concern that AI’s prominence in the marketplace and rapid advancement may lead to already-dominant digital powerhouses further cementing power after Big Tech exploded at the turn of the century. He said regulators’ statements acknowledging the power of AI and concerns over certain players having market dominance are a sign that they “are getting on the same page to try to prevent a new nascent technology from replicating the same scenario they’ve witnessed play out.”
With more eyes on the AI market, Luehr, formerly with the FTC, said companies will need to evaluate how strategic moves might play with global regulators, adding: “They’re concerned about the underlying data, the computational power to crunch the data and the talent you need to bring those forces together. That seems to be the three-legged stool the G7 is worried about.”
Luehr also noted the path for a startup to get acquired by a big tech firm has become more challenging with FTC scrutiny increasing and taking a more cautious approach with AI.
“It’s much easier to stake an antitrust stand as a preventative measure than as a remedial measure,” he said. “For that reason alone, we can expect to see a much more aggressive stance on antitrust and competition issues during this go-round than we saw 20 years ago.”
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