US Lawmakers, Wary Of Big Tech, Propose Antitrust Overhaul


US lawmakers, wary of Big Tech, propose antitrust overhaul

Washington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Jun, 2021 ) :US lawmakers unveiled sweeping antitrust measures Friday aimed at challenging the dominance of Big Tech firms including Apple and Facebook, in what may be the most ambitious effort in decades to break corporate monopolies.

A bipartisan group of House members introduced five separate bills that propose major changes to the nation's competition laws.

If passed, they would make it harder for mega-companies like Amazon and Google to buy out smaller competitors, and facilitate the breakup of firms that use their dominant position in their core business to make deep inroads into another.

"Right now, unregulated tech monopolies have too much power over our economy," the House Judiciary's Antitrust Subcommittee chairman David Cicilline, a Democrat, said as the measures were introduced.

"They are in a unique position to pick winners and losers, destroy small businesses, raise prices on consumers, and put folks out of work." The goal, he said, is to "level the playing field" and ensure that powerful tech companies follow the same rules as other businesses.

One of the bills increases the fees for mergers so that regulators have more funds to aggressively police the corporations and enforce antitrust laws.

"Big Tech has abused its dominance in the marketplace to crush competitors, censor speech, and control how we see and understand the world," said House Republican Ken Buck, who took direct aim at some of the biggest players.

"Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google have prioritized power over innovation and harmed American businesses and consumers in the process." The reform effort comes amid heightened scrutiny of large tech platforms which have increased their dominance during the coronavirus pandemic.

US state and Federal antitrust enforcers last year filed suits targeting Facebook and Google alleging illegal dominance of their respective markets.

And last month Amazon was hit with an antitrust suit from the US capital Washington, claiming the tech giant abuses its dominant position in online retail sales, harming consumers.

Google did not provide immediate comment on the proposed legislation.

But the Computer & Communications Industry Association, of which Google, Amazon and Facebook are members, warned that the legislation could mark the biggest departure from US antitrust policy in more than a century.