Over the last 20 years, software and digital services have become the most vibrant sector of the U.S. economy. The pace of innovation is furious, and the impact on global commerce and culture is profound. At a time when America was losing ground in many traditional industries, companies like Amazon and Alphabet have redefined what it means to be competitive. That’s a good thing, because as President Biden’s Interim National Security Strategic Guidance states, “in today’s world, economic security is national security.” Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s economic policies sometimes are out of sync with its national-security goals. Nowhere is that more the case than with the way federal regulators assail the software and services sector for market conditions that are largely a result of the sector’s success. Customary measures of monopoly power don’t apply to a sector that often gives away its services (and steadily reduces costs when the services aren’t free), so the administration has embraced mere bigness as a basis for attacking the industry. This is detrimental to national security, and needs to be rethought in light of broader national purposes. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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