A group of bipartisan House members introduced legislation Friday that would break up Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
According to a press release from Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the bills aim to “expand opportunities for consumers, workers, and small business owners by holding unregulated Big Tech monopolies accountable for anti-competitive conduct.”
The legislation has support from both sides of the aisle.
As The Wall Street Journal reports:
Each of the bills has both Republicans and Democrats signed onto it, with more expected to join in the coming days, congressional aides said. A total of seven Republicans are backing the bills, with a different group of three signing on to each measure, according to a person familiar with the situation.
“Not only is self-regulation by Big Tech patently ineffective, but it also comes at the direct expense of workers, consumers, small businesses, our local communities, and the free press,” said Rep. Jayapal — who helps to lead the House Antitrust Subcommittee — in the press release. “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.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) asserted that “Big Tech has abused its dominance in the marketplace to crush competitors, censor speech, and control how we see and understand the world.”
The five bills are as follows:
- The American Innovation and Choice Online Act would prohibit “discriminatory conduct by dominant platforms, including a ban on self-preferencing and picking winners and losers online.”
- The Platform Competition and Opportunity Act prohibits acquisitions of “competitive threats by dominant platforms, as well acquisitions that expand or entrench the market power of online platforms.”
- The Ending Platform Monopolies Act eliminates the ability of dominant platforms to “leverage their control over across multiple business lines to self-preference and disadvantage competitors in ways that undermine free and fair competition.”
- The Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act promotes competition online by “lowering barriers to entry and switching costs for businesses and consumers through interoperability and data portability requirements.”
- The Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act updates filing fees for “mergers for the first time in two decades to ensure that Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have the resources they need to aggressively enforce the antitrust laws.”
The bill comes two months after Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) — who is among the most vocal supporters of antitrust legislation among Congressional Republicans — introduced the “Bust Up Big Tech Act.”
At the end of May, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signed legislation meant to hold technology firms “accountable” for enacting censorship and interfering with “Floridians’ ability to access and participate in online platforms.”
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