House panel pushes legislation targeting Big Tech’s power – News Vibe24

    House panel pushes legislation targeting Big Tech's power - Times of India
    WASHINGTON: A House panel passed Wednesday with ambitious legislation that could limit the market power of tech giants Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple and force them to cut off their dominant platforms from other areas of activity.
    Conservative Republican lawmakers bargained for legislative language and sparked concerns about perceived anti-conservative bias on online platforms, but could not stop the bilateral momentum behind the package.
    The drafting and voting by the Parliamentary Committee on Justice are the first steps in what promises to be a painful slogan through Congress. Many Republican lawmakers denounce Big Tech dominance in the market, but do not support a major overhaul of antitrust laws.
    The Democratic-majority committee did a quick job of arguably the least controversial bills in the package, which were approved by Republicans. A move that would increase the Federal Trade Commission’s budget has sparked Republican Conservative anger as an avenue for a stronger force for the service. The bill, passed 29-12 and sent to the full U.S. House of Representatives, would increase filing fees for proposed technology mergers of more than $ 500 million and lower fees for those at that level.
    A second bill would give states greater powers over companies in determining the courts in which they would prosecute technology cases against cartels. Many attorneys have filed antitrust lawsuits against major technology companies, and many states have been involved with the US Department of Justice and the FTC in their antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook, respectively, last year. The measure garnered many Democratic votes and was approved 34-7.
    The panel then dug up a complex measure that would require online platforms that would allow users to communicate directly with users on competing services. Proponents say it will also give consumers more power to determine how and with whom their data is communicated.
    The progress of massive, bilateral legislation comes as tech giants are already waking up under federal scrutiny, epic antitrust lawsuits, near-constant condemnation by politicians from both parties and a newly-appointed head of the powerful FTC who is an outspoken critic of the industry.
    The legislative package, led by the head of industry, David Cicilline, DR.I., targets the structure of companies and could show their disintegration, a dramatic step for Congress to take against a strong industry whose the products are woven into everyday life. If such steps were taken, they could bring the biggest change in the industry from the federal government’s landmark against Microsoft 20 years ago.
    Democratic lawmakers who defended the proposals confirmed the Big Tech restriction case as the committee began looking into the legislation.
    “It will pave the way for a stronger economy and a stronger democracy for the American people by controlling the anti-competitive abuses of the most dominant companies on the Internet,” said President Jerrold Nadler, DN.Y., chairman of the Judiciary Committee. “Each bill is an essential part of a bilateral plan to balance competition for innovators, entrepreneurs and start-ups – and to bring the benefits of increased innovation and choice to American consumers.”
    Conservative Republicans set their benchmarks. They insisted that the proposed legislation does not really attack anti-competitive abuses by the technology industry because it does not address anti-conservative bias on social media platforms.
    And they envisioned a battle for legislative definitions. Legislation will be drafted for online platforms with 50 million or more monthly active users, annual sales or a market capitalization of over $ 600 billion, and a role as a “critical trading partner”.
    The new proposals “make it worse,” insisted Ohio House spokesman Jim Jordan, the panel’s senior Republican. “They do not dissolve Big Tech. They do not stop censorship.”
    Defining legislation on which online platforms would fall under stricter antitrust standards could mean companies such as Microsoft, Walmart and Visa being included soon, Jordan said. “Who knows where it will end?” he said.
    President Joe Biden’s surprise move last week to push antitrust think tank Lina Hahn to lead the FTC was a clear signal of a tough stance against the tech giants. It was top notch for Conservative Republicans who oppose the new legislation. Khan played a key role in the Judiciary Committee’s extensive 2019-20 inquiry into the market power of tech giants.
    The four companies deny abusing their dominant position in the market and argue that inappropriate market intervention through legislation would harm small businesses and consumers.
    In a letter to committee leaders on Tuesday, a senior Apple executive said the proposed legislation “would undermine consumers’ ability to choose products that offer state-of-the-art privacy and security” and hinder innovation and weaken competition.
    Hailing as the engine of innovation, the Silicon Valley giants enjoyed decades of minimal regulation and starred in Washington, D.C., with remarkable calm during the Obama administration when Biden was vice president. The fate of the industry was reversed about two years ago, when companies were subjected to intense federal scrutiny, a persistent congressional inquiry, and growing public criticism of competition, consumer privacy, and hate speech.
    Biden said as a presidential candidate that the dissolution of the big tech companies should be considered. He also said he wants to see changes in the long-term legal protections of social media companies for speaking on their platforms.
    Legislative proposals would also bar tech giants from favoring their own products and services over competitors on their platforms. The legislation was updated by a 15-month antitrust inquiry led by Cicilline, which concluded that the four tech giants had abused their market power by charging excessive fees, imposing strict contract terms and exporting valuable data based on individuals and companies. to them.
    The legislation would also make it more difficult for tech giants to compete with competitors they have completed in recent years.
    Democrats control the House, but will have to garner significant Republican support in the Senate to pass the bill. The room is divided 50-50 by the margin of one Democratic vote, depending on the fact that Vice President Kamala Harris is the architect.

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