Tue, 18 May 2021

Members of Congress propose bills to clip wings of Big Tech

Robert Besser
15 Apr 2021, 10:48 GMT+10

WASHINGTON D.C.: Cracking the whip against Big Tech, including the five largest U.S. tech companies, Republican U.S. Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill this week prohibiting all mergers and acquisitions by any company with a market value greater than $100 billion.

Accusing the largest social media companies of silencing conservative voices, Hawley also accused other sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, of being too concentrated and holding too much market power.

As a result of the bill, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Google, and Facebook would be banned from any deals and their platforms would no longer be able to favor their own products over those of rivals.

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar had introduced an antitrust bill in February, tackling the same issues and containing similar measures.

When asked about Klobuchar's bill, Hawley said, "I'm willing to work with her and anybody of any party and any background. I like a lot of what Senator Klobuchar has proposed." He added that his bill was "significantly tougher."

In the House of Representatives, Representative David Cicilline has also said he plans to introduce a series of antitrust bills.

When questioned whether he would back tech critic Lina Khan, a progressive who has been nominated to be a commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission, which works with the Justice Department to enforce antitrust law, Hawley said he was "very impressed" by her but added, "I have not made a final decision."


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