A scathing report detailing abuses of market power by four leading platform businesses suggests a tough road ahead of new rules and more rigorous enforcement for ‘Big Tech’ should Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden win the White House.
Antitrust experts and congressional aides said the 449-page report by the antitrust director of the House Judiciary Committee, released on Tuesday, lays out a road map to the Democratic Party to put the brakes on the dominance of Google, Apple, Amazon.com and Facebook.
Together with the Nov. 3 election approaching fast and a new Congress scheduled to be sworn in in January, action on the report’s recommendations this year is improbable and no new legislative changes are impending. On the other hand, the findings boost the possibilities for new legislation in the long run and will notify existing investigations against big technology firms by state attorneys general and agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The report reflects the views of Democrats on the antitrust subcommittee at the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. Republicans on the panel released two reports on the investigation.
US Representative David Cicilline, chairman of the House antitrust panel, told Reuters in an interview Wednesday he thinks a Biden administration could be amenable to the report. “He recognizes that this sort of economic concentration undermines democracy.”
Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project, a Washington-based group focused on monopoly power, ” said that the report “lays out the Democratic Party’s position on tech platforms and how antitrust laws need to be refined and strengthened.”
Miller is just one of hundreds of members of the Biden effort’s tech policy committee.
William Kovacic, a former seat of the Federal Trade Commission, cautioned that the businesses will “pull out all the stops” in lobbying against the changes.
Earlier this month, Reuters reported how large tech companies including Amazon have been cosying up to the Biden effort with connections and cash.
Biden has said antitrust authorities hasn’t been strong and tech companies deserve a close look in the federal agencies that oversee contest. He has remained away from calling for the separation of large technology companies, stating it’d be premature to do this without a formal investigation.
The House report on Tuesday widely suggested that companies shouldn’t control and compete in related businesses, but stopped short of naming a particular company. Anti-monopoly specialists and congressional aides said the report, which details Big Tech’s abuses, has the capability to impact the thinking of Biden on the problem.
A spokesman for the Biden effort didn’t immediately comment.
The antitrust panel will take up the vast majority report following the October recess for formal adoption and will have a vote on it, advises for the committee stated. The next step will be coming up with laws to place the report’s recommendations to action.
House panel chairman Cicilline also said in the interview that he expects legislation administering Big Tech’s market power to be introduced in the current Congress and much more bills to be introduced next year.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington. Additional reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington. Editing by Chris Sanders and Matthew Lewis.
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