House Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bills to Target Big Tech

House Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bills to Target Big Tech House Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bills to Target Big Tech (Getty)

Friday, 11 June 2021 03:32 PM

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced four bills on Friday aimed at reining in the power of the tech giants in what one congressional aide described as a revolution in antitrust.

Two of the bills address the issue of giant companies, such as Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google, creating a platform for other businesses and then competing against those same businesses.

One measure bans platforms from owning subsidiaries that operate on their platform if those subsidiaries compete with other businesses – potentially forcing the Big Tech firms to sell assets.

"From Amazon and Facebook to Google and Apple , it is clear that these unregulated tech giants have become too big to care and too powerful to ever put people over profits," said U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Washington state Democrat a sponsor of this measure.

Representative David Cicilline, the Democratic chair of the antitrust panel, is an original cosponsor of the bills, as is the top Republican, Ken Buck. The chair of the Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, also sponsored the bills.

A second measure would make it illegal in most cases for a platform to give preference to its own products on its platform with a hefty fine of 30% of the U.S. revenue of the affected business if they violate the measure.

The third bill would require a platform to refrain from any merger unless it can show the acquired company does not compete with any product or service the platform is in.

A fourth would require platforms to allow users to transfer their data elsewhere if they desire, including to a competing business.

In addition to those four, a fifth bill would raise what the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission charge to assess the biggest companies to ensure their mergers are legal and increase the budgets of the agencies. A companion to this has already passed the Senate.

Original Article