Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google may be forced to overhaul their business operations under a new set of antitrust reforms introduced by a group of House of Representatives on Friday.
The five-draft package previously reported by CNBC and other outlets would make it harder for a dominant platform to complete a merger. and prohibit them from owning businesses with clear conflicts of interest. The law represents the most comprehensive effort to reform the century-old antitrust law in decades.
The bill must be voted on by the Judiciary Committee before it enters the full House. They must be approved by the Senate before being signed into law by the president.
The measure follows a lengthy investigation by the House of Representatives Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust issues at four companies that were completed last year.
The committee found that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google had monopoly and that antitrust laws should be amended to better address the specific challenges of competition in the digital marketplace.
While Democrats and Republicans split up to resolve some issues. Most of them agree with the allegations that it harms competition and that reform is needed to revive the market.
The two new bills introduced Friday may prove particularly difficult for Amazon and Apple to navigate, as they both operate markets with their own products or apps that compete with other vendors or developers they rely on. their services This is a risk under the new law. (which appears to be renamed the American Choice and Innovation Online Act), backed by the Judicial Subcommittee on Antitrust David Cicilline, DR.I., and the End Platform Monopoly Act. Supported by Vice President Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash
The bill has inspired a response from a group that has already funded the technology.
“The adoption of a European regulatory model will make it harder for American tech companies to create and compete here and around the world,” said Jeffrey Mann, president and founder of the Center for International Law and Economics. said in a statement The group has already received funding from Google.
Adam Kovacevich, CEO of Chamber of Progress, a center-left advocacy group. Backed by Amazon, Facebook and Google, it published a Medium post earlier this week. It argued that consumers would lose more than a dozen popular features if both bills passed.
Under those deals, Kovacevich argued that Amazon wouldn̵7;t be able to offer free Prime shipping on certain products, and that Google couldn’t provide users with the most popular results for businesses in their area. due to anti-discrimination rules on their platform He also wrote that Apple won’t be allowed to pre-install its own “Find My” app on devices that help users find lost items. Benefits and non-discrimination, Kovacevich argued.
Despite the technological countermeasures But both sides’ support for the bill is a formidable sign for the industry. The sector inspired cooperation between Democrats and Republicans. Both believe tech companies are taking too much power and are concerned about sluggish innovation.
Spotify and Roku, which have criticized the tech giants in the past. Applause for some of the bills.
Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s chief legal officer, called the American Choice and Innovation Online Act “an important step in addressing anti-competitive behavior in the App Store ecosystem and a clear sign that the momentum has shifted as the world wakes from need for justice competition in the app economy.”
“Roku applauds Reps David Cicilline and Ken Buck for taking an important step in curbing the predatory and anti-competitive behavior of the nation’s most powerful company,” the company said in a statement. these monopoly And we’ve seen them blatantly ignore antitrust laws and hurt consumers by exploiting their dominance in one line of business to deter competition in another. Proactive reforms are needed to prevent a future in which these monopolies misuse consumer choices and hinder access to innovative and independent products.”
Here’s an overview of the five bills announced Friday:
- Platform Monopoly Termination Act: Backed by Jayapal, whose county includes Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and is co-sponsored by Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Tex. This bill would make it illegal for platforms with at least US users. 50 million monthly users and a market capitalization of over $600 billion to own or operate a business with clear conflicts of interest. Unlawful conflicts include anything that incentivizes a business to support its own service more than that of a competitor. or put potential competitors at a disadvantage using this platform. Lawmakers have previously expressed concerns that both Amazon and Apple, which use their own platforms for sellers and developers respectively. may undermine competition due to conflicts of interest for competing products or apps
- America’s Online Choice and Innovation Act: This bill, proposed by Cicilline and co-sponsored by Gooden, would prohibit dominating platforms from giving their products and services an advantage over competitors on the platform. It will also prohibit other types of discriminatory behavior. The platform is dominant, for example, cutting competitors using the platform from the services offered by the platform itself. and prohibit prominent platforms from using information collected from their services that are not disclosed to others for fuel. own competing products among other prohibitions
- Platform Competition and Opportunity Act: This proposal from Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y., sponsored by Ranking Ken Buck, R-Colo. Subcommittee, will shift the burden of proof in merger cases to the mainstream platform. (defined by the same criteria as the previous bill) to prove that the acquisition is legal. More than the government has to prove that they will reduce competition. The measure is likely to slowly slow down acquisitions of leading tech companies.
- Increasing compatibility and competition by enabling the Service Switching (ACCESS) Act: This proposed bill, from Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., and co-sponsored by Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, would require that superior platforms maintain certain standards of data portability and capacity. in working together Make it easier for consumers to use their data. information with them to other platforms.
- Merger Fee Modernization Act this bill Presented by Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo. and co-sponsored by Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., it appears to be a common law in conjunction with a bipartisan bill of the same name in the Senate. A Senate version passed in that room Tuesday as part of a technology and manufacturing bill worth more than $250 billion. The bill would increase the fees companies pay to notify the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division of a major merger with the goal of raising money for those entities.
This story is developing Come back and check for updates.
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SEE: How US Antitrust Laws Work and What They Mean for Big Tech