Thursday, December 01, 2016 by Don Wrightman
Donald Trump’s transition team now features a Republican antitrust veteran in the Justice Department. Lawyers say that the choice signals a more hands-off approach to antitrust enforcement then the previous Obama administration. Obama has challenged many mergers, which has lead to the demise of the Halliburton Company’s plans to purchase Baker Hughes Inc. The Justice Department is currently suing Anthem Incorporated in an effort to prevent them from buying Cigna and Aetna, as well as to stop the purchase of Humana.
Trump has talked tough about media mergers like AT&T purchasing Time Warner. He also singled out Amazon for antitrust scrutiny, but Higbee’s naming suggests a traditional Republican view of merger enforcement according to lawyers. Bruce McDonald, a veteran of the Bush administration, is now at the Jones Day law firm. He says that “Higbee will have that sensible caution, he will be more confident in business and markets and less confident that government can identify and fix problems.”
“An antitrust division designed by Higbee would be tough on price-fixing and mergers of competitors but would be cautious in challenging deals where companies buy suppliers or incidents where companies are accused of breaking antitrust law to run competitors out of business.” McDonald said.
Amazon’s cloud computing business is aggressively pushing its way into virtually every market. Amazon Web Services CEO, Andy Jassy, insists that several thousand attendees at Amazon’s annual invent conference will be from banks and other financial companies. The trend started last year where Capital One Financials Chief Information Officer publicly spoke about recreating the consumer banking experience in the cloud. Amazon has announced that Capital One will move many core business and consumer applications to Amazon Web Services.
Intuit, which is a popular tax and payroll software, has already completely moved to Amazon’s cloud. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is currently headed in that direction too. “Financial services companies have really started deciding to use the cloud in a much more meaningful way, it really has tipped” said Jassy.
Amazon Web Services currently account for 10 percent of Amazon’s revenue. The cloud has gone mainstream. Many Government agencies, health-care providers and industrial companies are rapidly moving out of their own data centers. The new home for data centers are machines owned by Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM.
Amazon is currently working with 2,700 government agencies worldwide. Amazon Web Services can continue to acquire government customers even as Trump assumes office. Trump has claimed that Amazon will have problems under his administration because they don’t pay their fair share of tax and operate in a monopoly like manner.