Antitrust Bills To Break Up Big Tech Pass House Judiciary Committee
Five legislation are included in this legislative attempt by House members:
- The American Choice And Innovation Online Act: This bill would look to prevent so-called “discriminatory conduct” by Big Tech corporations, achieved by stopping them from giving preferential treatment to their products and services over various rivals.
- The Platform Competition and Opportunity Act: This bill would look to prevent Big Tech corporations from buying companies that present or enable competition.
- The Ending Platform Monopolies Act: This bill would look to prevent Big Tech corporations from leveraging their power and influence across multiple business channels in pursuit of profitable advantages, with certain companies of a significant size prohibited from engaging in another line of business which could present a conflict of interest, such as making decisions which favor the wider business or inhibit the success of a competitor.
- The Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching Act: Also known as the Access Act, this bill would look to enable the transfer of personal information from one platform to another, with the goal of promoting competition by reducing the costs of switching platforms for both consumers and businesses.
- The Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act: This bill would look to raise filing fees for mergers, which would be used to provide funding for further antitrust actions via both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.
The American Choice and Innovation Online Act “was approved early Thursday by a vote of 24 to 20,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Access Act, also known as the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching Act, passed by a vote of 25-19 late Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal noted that, “Two other less-controversial bills also were adopted, one raising federal fees on corporate merger reviews and another aiding state attorneys general in procedural battles in antitrust court cases. The panel will consider a final bill in the package when it reconvenes Thursday.”
“The president is encouraged by the bipartisan work to address problems created by big tech platforms. We hope the legislative process continues to move forward on these bipartisan proposals, and we look forward to working with Congress to continue developing these ideas.” a White House official said.
In a blog post published in early June, Adam Kovacevich, the CEO of the Chamber of Progress, an organization backed by Amazon, Facebook, and Google, claimed that “Democrats should focus on making people’s lives better, not messing with stuff people already like.”
“Giving antitrust enforcers more funding and encouraging data portability are relatively uncontroversial ideas, but banning conveniences like Amazon Basics brand batteries, Apple’s Find my Phone tool, or Google Maps appearing in Google search results are ideas that would spark a consumer backlash,” wrote Kovacevich.
“Instead of focusing on helping families, these proposals inexplicably target a bunch of technological conveniences that most people really like. Let’s hope Democrats stay focused on the right things,” Kovacevich added.
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