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Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Targeted by Bipartisan Antitrust Amendment Bill



Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google could be forced to reassess their business practices under the new widespread antitrust reforms introduced by a bipartisan group of members of the House of Representatives on Friday.

The five bill packages previously reported by CNBC and other media make it difficult for the dominant platform to complete the merger and ban it from owning a business with a clear conflict of interest. The law represents the most comprehensive effort to reform the 100-year-old antitrust law in recent decades.

The bill must be voted in favor of the Judiciary Committee before it can be submitted to the House plenary session. It also requires Senate approval before the president can sign the bill.

This measure follows a lengthy investigation by the House Judiciary Committee on antitrust laws against four companies completed last year.

The Commission decided at the time that Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google had exclusive power and that antitrust laws needed to be amended to better address the unique challenge of competition in the digital market.

Democrats and Republicans disagreed on some of the solutions, but agreed that there was a suspicion of competitive harm and that reforms were needed to revitalize the market.

Two of the new bills announced on Friday could turn out to be particularly difficult for Amazon and Apple to navigate. New law. These bills consist of a platform antitrust law (apparently renamed the American Choice and Innovation Online Act) sponsored by the House Judiciary Subcommittee of Antitrust Law. And the Ending Platform Monopolies Act sponsored by D-Wash Vice-Chair Pramila Jayapal.

The bill, in the form of a draft, has already sparked a backlash from technical funding groups.

“Adopting a European regulatory model will make it harder for American tech companies to innovate and compete both domestically and globally,” said Jeffrey Mann, chairman and founder of the Center for International Law and Economy. This group has been funded by Google in the past.

Adam Kobasevic, CEO of the center-left advocacy group Chamber of Progress, backed by Amazon, Facebook, Google and others, said in a medium post this week that consumers will see these two bills passed. Claims to lose more than 12 popular features.

Under these suggestions, Amazon couldn’t offer prime free shipping on some products, and Google was the most popular search for businesses in the region due to rules prohibiting discrimination on the platform, Kobasevic said. He claimed that he couldn’t provide results to users. He also wrote that Apple wouldn’t allow users to pre-install their own “find” app on their devices to help them find lost items. Kobasevic argued that Facebook couldn’t allow a simple crosspost to Instagram due to conflicts of interest and non-discrimination provisions.

Despite the technical backlash, bipartisan support for the bill is a formidable signal to the industry. This sector has caused a rare collaboration between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans believe that tech companies are too powerful and worried about stagnant innovation.

Spotify and Roku, who were critical of tech giants in the past, praised some of the bill.

Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s Chief Legal Officer, said the American Choice and Innovation Online Act “is an important step in addressing anti-competitive behavior in the App Store ecosystem and awakens the need for the world to demand fairness. It’s a clear sign that the momentum has changed. ” Competition in the app economy. “

“Roku praises the representatives of David Sicilian and Ken Bach for taking important steps to curb the predatory and anti-competitive behavior of the country’s most powerful companies,” the company said in a statement. “Roku has witnessed overtly ignoring anti-competitive laws and taking advantage of one business area to curb competition in another and harm consumers. A series of aggressive reforms is needed. ”These monopoly further abuse consumer choices and prevent a future that impedes access to innovative and independent products.

Here’s an overview of the five bills announced on Friday:

Ending Platform Monopolies Act: Advocated by Jayapal, including Seattle’s Amazon headquarters, and co-sponsored by Congressman Lance Gooden of R-Tex, the bill is illegal for platforms with at least 50 million monthly active US users. A market capitalization of more than $ 600 billion to own or operate a business with a clear conflict of interest. Illegal conflicts include those that incentivize companies to prioritize their services over those of their competitors, or those that put a potential competitor on the platform at a disadvantage. Legislators have previously feared that both Amazon and Apple, which operate their own platforms for sellers and developers, could undermine competition due to conflicts of interest in competing products and apps. The American Choice and Innovation Online Act: The bill was proposed by Cicilline and co-sponsored by Gooden, with the dominant platform superior to the products and services of competitors on the platform. Providing your own products and services is prohibited. It also prohibits other types of discriminatory behavior by the dominant platform, such as separating competitors who use the platform from the services provided by the platform itself, and services where the dominant platform is not exposed to others. It is prohibited to use the data collected in. A unique competitor, among other prohibitions. Platform Competition and Opportunity Law: This proposal from Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of DN.Y. will be co-sponsored by Ken Bach of R-Colo, a ranking member of the subcommittee, and will change the burden of proof. If so, the government does not have to prove to reduce competition against the dominant platform (defined by the same criteria as the previous bill) to prove that the acquisition is actually legal. This measure is likely to significantly delay acquisitions by leading tech companies. Increasing compatibility and competition by allowing service switching (ACCESS) Act: The bill is Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon Proposed by the House of Representatives and co-sponsored by Congressman Burgess Owens., R-Utah requires major platforms to maintain certain standards of data portability and interoperability, consumers The bill, co-sponsored by Koro and Republican Rep. Victoria Spartans, appears to be ancillary to the bipartisan bill of the same name in the Senate. The Senate bill passed the House on Tuesday as part of a $ 250 billion technology and manufacturing bill. The bill aims to raise fees paid by businesses to notify the Federal Trade Commission and the Antimonopoly Division of the Department of Justice of a major merger and to raise funds for these agencies.

This story is developing. Check for the latest information.

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Watch: How US Antitrust Law Works and What Does Big Tech Mean

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