US House Panel Pushed Legislation Aiming at Big Tech’s power

The House Panel in the US progressed towards ambitious legislation on June 23, which will be able to curb the tech giants’ strong market power. This includes companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and several others. The legislation will cut off their dominant platforms from the companies’ other business lines.

Several Republican lawmakers condemn the growing market dominance of tech giants but do not support a complete revamp of antitrust laws. Even after the objection of the Republicans, the Democratic party brought the least controversial bills, which were approved. The legislation was passed with 29-12 and was sent to the US House. This would escalate the filing fees for the tech mergers, which have more than 500 million, and reduce the fees of those tech companies below that level.

The second bill introduced will give major powers to the states over companies to determine the court where the antitrust cases will be prosecuted.  Several states joined with FTC and US Justice Department in their antitrust lawsuits against Facebook and Google, while many state attorneys pursued cases of antitrust against the tech companies. The measure drew the votes of Republicans and was approved with 34-7.

US House Panel then proceeded to a complex measure that would need online platforms to enable users to communicate with rival services users. Proponents have told it will give enough powers to consumers to determine where and with whom to share their data.

Restrictions on Tech Giants

When Biden was a presidential candidate, he said that big tech companies’ power dismantling should be considered. Mr. Biden also said he wanted to see reforms in the legal protections of social media companies. The proposals of the legislation would block big tech companies from favoring their own products as well as services over competitors on the same platform. Cicilline led the 15-month Judiciary antitrust investigation that deduced that four tech giants critically abused their market power through charging excessive fees, extracting valuable data from businesses and individuals, and imposed tough contract terms. The legislation would make it much difficult for tech giants to snap up business peers in mergers.

Though Democrats control the House, they would require to garner much support from Republicans in the Senate for passing the legislation. The chamber is divided into 50-50 with one vote margin of Democrats depending on Kamala Harris, the Vice president as the tiebreaker.

 

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