On Friday, President Joe Biden signed yet another executive order titled, “Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.”
“Today, I’m going to be signing shortly the executive order promoting competition to lower prices, to increase wages and to take another critical step toward an economy that works for everybody,” Biden said at the White House.
“The heart of American capitalism is a simple idea: Open and fair competition. That means that if your companies want to win your business, they have to go out and they have to up their game,” Biden said. “Let me be very clear: Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. It’s exploitation.”
“Without healthy competition, big players can change and charge whatever they want and treat you however they want,” Biden continued. “And for too many Americans that means accepting a bad deal for things you can’t go without. So, we know we’ve got a problem, a major problem. But we also have an incredible opportunity.”
There are multiple policy areas laid out in the order.
“The order seeks to juice competition in broadband by encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to reintroduce a so-called ‘nutrition label’ for internet service providers that would give consumers more clear information about a provider’s services,” explained CNN. “It calls for the FCC to restrict early termination fees and to ban exclusivity deals that currently limit apartment buildings and other rental units to only one Internet provider.”
The order also directs the FCC to restore “net neutrality” rules imposed under the Obama administration “that would prohibit them from selectively blocking, slowing or speeding up websites.”
Looking to rein in Big Tech, the order also “establishes an administration-wide policy to scrutinize mergers more heavily, including completed mergers.”
“We have to get back to an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out,” Biden said. “The executive order I’m soon going to be signing commits the federal government to full and aggressive enforcement of our antitrust laws. No more tolerance for abusive actions by monopolies, no more bad mergers that lead to mass layoffs, higher prices, fewer options for workers and consumers alike.”
The order also includes the creation of new rules on data collection and the prohibition of “unfair competition in online marketplaces,” as well as pushing for the “right-to-repair” which would stop technology manufacturers from suing independent repair service providers.
“This order affirms that it is the policy of my Administration to enforce the antitrust laws to combat the excessive concentration of industry, the abuses of market power, and the harmful effects of monopoly and monopsony — especially as these issues arise in labor markets, agricultural markets, Internet platform industries, healthcare markets (including insurance, hospital, and prescription drug markets), repair markets, and United States markets directly affected by foreign cartel activity,” the order states. “It is also the policy of my Administration to enforce the antitrust laws to meet the challenges posed by new industries and technologies, including the rise of the dominant Internet platforms, especially as they stem from serial mergers, the acquisition of nascent competitors, the aggregation of data, unfair competition in attention markets, the surveillance of users, and the presence of network effects.”
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