U.S. House Panel In Debate Over Big Tech Bill

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The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved a bill in a long session on Wednesday to provide more funding to antitrust regulators but has yet to decide on four bills aimed at reining in Big Tech.

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said the bills are a “historic package of bipartisan legislation” aimed at “reining in anti-competitive abuses of the most dominant firms online.”

After the adoption of bills to drastically increase the budgets of the antitrust enforcement agencies and to guarantee that the antitrust proceedings initiated by the state attorneys general will remain in the court of their choice, a debate began on a bill that would force platforms to share their data with other users.

There has been considerable opposition to the bills from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Alphabet Inc’s Google.

The debate over the portability law initially focused on whether the bill was written to protect Microsoft, a longtime Google antagonist.

Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to amend that definition to say that all online platforms, not just mobile platforms, are covered by the bill.

The four tech giants have spent the past two years being investigated by the federal, state, and Congress over how they use their influence to extend their dominance to adjacent markets.

Two of the remaining bills deal with the problem of companies like Amazon and Google creating a platform for other companies and then competing against those companies; one would require the competing companies to be sold, while the other would prevent platforms from favoring their own companies.

A third would require a platform to refrain from any merger unless it could show that the merged entity does not compete with it.

For more information, read the original story in Reuters.

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