The competitive dynamic is especially important in high-tech industries where rapid innovation is a defining characteristic. Competition is one of the fundamental drivers of innovation. To a greater extent than most markets, high-tech and internet-centric industries are characterized by a heavy reliance on complicated patent portfolios, network effects, economies of scale, standardization and interoperability. These inherent features often make anticompetitive actions difficult to detect, harder to remedy, and more detrimental to innovation and venture capital allocation.
Admittedly the line between legitimate competition and harmful anticompetitive actions can be blurry in fast moving, quickly changing tech markets, and there is a danger of erring on either side of enforcement. Regulators must be sure abide by the bedrock principle of antitrust law: consumer, not competitor, welfare is paramount. Therefore, government intervention must focus on legitimate harms to consumers — not protecting inefficient competitors or particular business models– when weighing the merits of an antitrust case.