Democrat Led Committee Introduces 5 Antitrust Bills Targeting Tech Giants

Masters of the Universe

The House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on antitrust has introduced five new bills aimed to curb anticompetitive practices in the tech industry. Although none of them directly address the tech issue of greatest concern to Republicans, censorship, the bills have been presented as a bipartisan effort to rein in the power of dominant Silicon Valley companies.

Notably absent from the subcommittee’s legislative lineup is the discredited Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which was initially pitched as a bipartisan, anti-big tech bill but drew the opposition of GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Judiciary ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH,) and Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), as well as a Republican FCC commissioner after Breitbart News exposed the bill as a bailout for big media, backed by big media funded lobbyists.

The new legislation introduced by the subcommittee tackles different problems, specifically targeting technology companies that either 1) have 50 million or more monthly active users (MAUs), 2) have 100,000 or more monthly active business users, or 3) have a market cap of $600 billion or more.

In all of the bills (except the final one, which is an appropriations bill), enforcement will be conducted through the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. This gives the federal government, currently in the hands of the Biden administration, more power to pressure the tech giants.

Here is a brief summary of the aims of each bill:

The “Ending Platform Monopolies Act” 

This bill aims to prevent technology companies from favoring their own products and services on their platform, a practice that Google and Amazon have been accused of. Under the proposed law, companies may not “exclude from, or disadvantage, the products, services, or lines of business on the  covered platform of a competing business or a business that constitutes nascent or potential competition to the covered platform operator.”

The “American Choice and Innovation Online Act”

Similarly to the above, this bill says tech companies that meet the MAU or market cap threshold to “restrict or impede the capacity of a business user to access or interoperate with the same platform, operating system, hardware and software features that are available to the covered platform operator’s own products, services, or lines of business.” It also targets the use of data obtained from competitors to gain an advantage over them, a practice that has made Amazon the subject of an EU antitrust investigation.

The “Platform Competition and Opportunity Act” 

This bill prevents tech companies that meet the MAU or market cap threshold from acquiring companies that compete with it, or acquiring companies that will “enhance or increase” the company’s market position, or its ability to maintain it.

The “ACCESS Act”

This bill focuses on data portability, requiring companies that meet the threshold to “maintain a set of transparent, third-party-accessible interfaces (including application programming interfaces) to enable the secure transfer of data to a user, or with the affirmative consent of a user, to a business user at the direction of a user, in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format.” The bill also requires tech companies that meet the threshold to “maintain a set of transparent, third-party-accessible interfaces (including application programming interfaces) to facilitate and maintain interoperability with a competing business or a potential competing business.”

The Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act 

This bill adjusts the prices for companies seeking to file for a merger. It also increases funding for the Federal Trade Commission by approximately $100 million, and by approximately $85 million for the Antitrust division of the Department of Justice.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


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