Democrats to unveil significant legislative action allowing for big tech breakups: report
Five bills targeting companies like Facebook and Amazon could be detailed this week
Democrats in the House of Representatives are reportedly getting ready to unleash a legislative assault on the country’s largest tech companies.
A package of five bills could be unveiled as soon as this week, according to Politico, which cited two people familiar with the discussions, including one measure that would potentially force companies to spin off businesses that are perceived to be operating with conflicts of interest.
The legislation is reportedly based on a House Judiciary Committee report released last year that focused on Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple. The report identified potentially anticompetitive behaviors, like Amazon selling its own products on its marketplace.
The forthcoming legislation would allow federal officials to sue to break up companies where there is a conflict of interest, according to Politico.
Another section would prevent companies from exercising self-preference of their own products on their platform, according to the publication, while a third would increase scrutiny over mergers.
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Another included bill would increase filing fees paid to antitrust agencies for merger reviews, and the last deals with data portability and allowing users to transfer information between major platforms.
Fostering healthy competition within the tech sector is a focal point for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, although there is not always agreement over how to introduce regulation to achieve that goal.
Conservatives have also been concerned about preserving free speech on major platforms as content moderation becomes more commonplace and after Donald Trump was banned from Twitter and Facebook.
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There are numerous ongoing efforts in court to try to ensure that companies do not engage in monopolistic behaviors.
As previously reported by FOX Business, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit this week seeking to classify Google as a public utility in the state due to its internet search dominance.
The complaint takes issue with the fact that the company is able to feature its own products on its results pages.
This week Google settled an antitrust lawsuit in France and agreed to pay $268 million. It also promised to make it easier for companies to advertise online.
Amazon was sued late last month by the D.C. Attorney General over anti-competitive practices.
Facebook was sued in 2020 by federal officials.
The Department of Justice sued Google in October over antitrust concerns.