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Five Antitrust Reform Bills Try to Suppress Big Tech

Five Antitrust Reform Bills Try to Suppress Big Tech


Following Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, Congressmen will announce five new regulations proposed to intensify competition in the digital market.

The House subcommittee on antitrust, commercial and administrative law announced five bipartisan bills on Friday. If this is successful, large tech companies will be held liable for anti-competitive behavior. Members of the Antimonopoly Act Subcommittee drafted the bill after a 16-month investigation. The bill produced a report claiming that major tech companies are using their monopoly to break competition and innovation.

The bill aims to limit the capacity of large tech companies to support their products. This is especially harmful for companies such as Apple and Amazon that own markets where their products are sold. The bill will also ban the acquisition of competitive threats and increase funding to enforce antitrust laws against the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

“Currently, unregulated technology monopolies have too much power on our economy,” said David Siciline, a member of the Antimonopoly Act Subcommittee in D-Rhode Island, in a press release. Stated. “They are in a unique position to choose winners and losers, destroy small businesses, raise consumer prices and unemploy people.”

Strengthen management of digital marketplaces

The five bills focus on different areas of antitrust reform.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act focuses on ensuring that major platform operators, such as the Amazon Marketplace and Apple App Store, cannot prioritize their products over the products offered on their platforms by competitors.

Sponsored by Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) and co-sponsored by Gooden, the Platform Monopoly Termination Act is represented by a platform with 50 million active users and a net annual turnover of over $ 600 billion. It is prohibited to own it. Conflict of interest.

Data interoperability, sponsored by Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pennsylvania) and co-sponsored by Burgess Owens (Republican), “Strengthening Compatibility and Competition by Enabling the ACCESS Act” Mandatory sex and allow consumers Easily transfer data to competing companies via third-party APIs.

“Platform Competition and Opportunity Law” sponsored by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) and co-sponsored by subcommittee ranking member Ken Buck (R-Colorado) poses a competitive threat to the dominant platform It is prohibited to do. The Filing Fee Modernization Act, sponsored by Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Colorado) and co-sponsored by Congressman Victoria Spartz (R-Indiana), will charge the merged filing fee for the first time in 20 years to provide to the Ministry of Justice. I will pull it up. FTC funding to enforce antitrust laws.

Analysts consider the proposed bill

Analysts said the proposed bill was more likely to do more harm than profit and couldn’t make the dents bigger later in the game.

Ray Wang, president of consulting firm Constellation Research, said lawmakers should curb digital giants. However, as companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google grow, they become increasingly “attractive targets”.

“This only increases the chances of over-regulation. [consumers] Expenses “.

For example, making it difficult for tech giants to buy other companies by demanding that the acquisition be proved not to be a potential competitor could slow down M & A activity, Wang said. ..

Sucharita Kodali, vice president and chief analyst at Forrester Research, said the venture capital community is likely to fight the law “tooth and nails” because the valuation is partly based on potential acquisitions. ..

“If this gives other companies the opportunity to be competitive, this is a good thing,” Kodari said. “If this reduces innovation in the long run, I think it will be reversed.”

The proposed bill seeks to level the competition, but Kodari says it’s some of Big Tech’s worst abuses, such as Section 230, which provides companies like Facebook with an exemption from third-party content. It doesn’t deal with what you think.

“Neither of these laws enforces accountability for false or damaging products, services, or language on the platform,” she said.

Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder of consulting firm Deep Analysis, said the proposed bill was far behind, but delays in regulation by companies such as Apple and Google were also part of the problem. Had the bill been enacted 10 years ago, it would have been more successful in preventing such companies from becoming today’s megacorporations.

Today, tech giants are active on a global scale with “few people can imagine” and can fight the legislature in a “previously unimaginable” way.

“Undoubtedly, some of this law may move forward and some may be enacted,” he said. “For people like Facebook and Google, life will be a little harder. It will be a thorn on their side, but I don’t think it will have a serious impact on their business.”

The bill must then be taken up by the House Judiciary Committee and approved before it can be submitted to the entire House of Representatives. If approved, the bill requires Senate approval before heading to the White House where the bill can be signed.

Makenzie Holland is a news writer covering Big Tech and federal regulations. Prior to joining TechTarget, he was a general journalist for Wilmington Star-News and a criminal and educational journalist for Wabash Plain Dealer.

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