WASHINGTON – House lawmakers on Friday enacted sweeping antitrust legislation aimed at limiting Big Tech’s power and preventing corporate consolidation across the economy, which will be a full update. most ambitious for monopoly law in decades.
The bills – five in total – target Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google directly and their grip on online commerce, information and entertainment. The proposals would make it easier to break up businesses that used their dominance in one area to gain strongholds in another, which would create new barriers to acquisition of rivals. nascent player and will empower agencies to manage more funds for police companies.
“Currently, unregulated tech monopolies have too much power over our economy. They are in a unique position to pick winners and losers, destroy small businesses, raise prices for consumers and put people out of work,” said Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island and chair of the antitrust subcommittee. “Our agenda will level the playing field and ensure the richest, most powerful tech monopolies play by the same rules as the rest of us.”
The introduction of the bills, with some partisan support, represents the toughest challenge from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley’s tech giants, which have thrived for years. without much regulation or restriction on the expansion of their business. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have a combined market capitalization of $6.3 trillion, four times the value of the 10 largest banks in the country.
Over the past decade, dozens of bills on data privacy, speech accountability and children’s online safety have failed. But efforts to limit the dominance of the biggest tech companies have gained widespread support in recent years. The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission in the Trump administration have accused Google and Facebook of anticompetitive practices and filed a lawsuit that is expected to be fought for years. Democrats and Republicans point to the dominance of a small number of companies as the root cause for the spread of misinformation, inequality in labor and wages, and messy rules of speech. on the Internet.
Tech giants face similar challenges to their power globally, facing multiple antitrust investigations by Facebook, Amazon and Google in Europe and new legislation in Australia and India aim to contain the power of the American giants.
“These are just the kinds of new laws that we need to really address the power of gatekeepers by technical backgrounds,” said Charlotte Slaiman, competition director for Public Knowledge, a public interest group. dominating number. “The big tech companies have a lot of powerful tools to protect their monopoly. These bills will give antitrust enforcement agencies several more powerful tools to open up digital platform markets to competition.”
This is an evolving story. Check for updates again.