US House of Representatives introduces four anti-trust bills

On Friday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the US House of Representatives introduced four bills. The bills focuses at reining the power of the tech giants, with one probably leading to their break-up.

Among the four bills introduced, two of them notifies the issue of giant companies, such as Amazon.com Inc and Alphabets Inc’s Google that enables other businesses to create a platform thereafter competing against those same businesses.

One measure prohibits platforms from owning subsidiaries that operates on their platforms, if those subsidiaries competes with other businesses it may lead the big tech firms to sell its assets.

A Washington state Democrat and sponsor of this measure, US representative Pramila Jayapal voiced that from Amazon and Facebook to Google and Apple, it is clear that these unregulated tech giants have become too big to care.

The pro business US Chamber of Commerce commented that it strongly condemn the bills approach. The Chamber’s Neil Bradley argued that the bills that targets particular companies, instead of concentrating on business practices, are bad policy and these can be ruled unconstitutionally.

On the other hand, Robert Weissman, President of advocacy group Public Citizen opposing the above statement cited, ” Big Tech’s unchecked growth and dominance have led to incredible abuses of power that have hurt consumers, workers, small businesses and innovation. That unchecked powers end now.”

The bill have been sponsored by the chair of the Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler. The original co-sponsor of the bill is Representative David Cicilline, the Democratic chair of the antitrust panel and the top Republican Ken Buck.

The second measure states that it will be illegal in almost every cases for a platform to put preferences to its own product on its platform. If the measure is violated it may lead to a fine of around 30 per cent of the US revenue of the affected business.

The third bill suggests that it would prohibit a platform from any merger provided it can prove that the acquired company does not compete with any product or services that the platform is in. The fourth bill requires platforms to enable users to transfer their data elsewhere if they want, including a competing business.

It is anticipated that a fifth bill will be introduced that will raise the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission charge to examine the biggest companies to confirm that their mergers are legal and raise the budgets of the agencies. It is reported that a companion to this has passed the Senate.

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