Following an investigation into the market power of the tech giants, lawmakers in the US House of Representatives have introduced a broad series of bills aimed at undermining the power of the Silicon Valley giants.
The new legislative package is based on a report that followed a months-long investigation by the House Judiciary Committee. That investigation investigated the business practices of major companies such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google.
On Friday, the Chamber unveiled five measures that target some of those business practices, which antitrust advocates believe stifle competition in the marketplace. according to The Washington Post
“Right now, unregulated tech monopolies have too much power over our economy,” said Rep. David N. Cicilline, (D-RI), chair of the House antitrust committee.
Some of the bills include the End Platform Monopolies Act, which would make it illegal for tech companies to operate a line of business that creates a conflict of interest. For example, the bill could affect Amazon, which operates an online marketplace but also sells first-hand products on the platform.
The Platform Opportunity and Competition Act, another part of the legislative package, would prohibit tech companies from acquiring rising rivals. The increased compatibility and competition bill would make it easier for consumers to use rival technology services together and switch between those platforms.
Another couple of bills would update filing fees and offer more funding to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, the main antitrust enforcement agencies in the US.
“[Tech giants] they are in a unique position to pick winners and losers, destroy small businesses, raise prices for consumers, and put people out of work. Our agenda will level the playing field and ensure that the richest and most powerful tech monopolies follow the same rules as the rest of us, “said Rep. Cicilline.
Tech giants are likely to fight the legislation, which could reshape the entire tech industry landscape. Netchoice, an organization representing Amazon, Google, Facebook and other tech companies, said the legislation could undermine American business and innovation.
“As Congress seeks to drive American innovation and cybersecurity, lawmakers should not pass laws that would give ground to foreign competitors and open up American data to dangerous and unreliable actors,” laments Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice . .
Although the bills are bipartisan in nature, having been signed by at least one Republican and one Democrat each, both sides of the aisle have different reasons for legislating. Democratic lawmakers focus on combating economic concentration, while Republicans focus more narrowly on what they call free speech issues.
Stay on top of all the Apple news right from your HomePod. Say “Hey Siri, play AppleInsider” and you’ll get the latest AppleInsider podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini “AppleInsider Daily” instead and you’ll hear a quick update straight from our news team. And, if you’re interested in Apple-centric home automation, say “Hey Siri, play HomeKit Insider” and you’ll be listening to our new specialized podcast in no time.