Two bills addresses the problem Giant companies, such as Amazon.com Inc and Google of Alphabet Inc, who create a platform that other companies use and then compete with.
One measure prohibits platforms from having affiliates running on their platform if those affiliates are competing with other companies, which could force big tech companies to sell assets.
“From Amazon and Facebook to Google and Apple, it’s clear that these unregulated tech giants are getting too big to care about.”U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat and sponsor of the measure, said.
The American Chamber of Commerce, a trade lobby group, said it was “strongly opposed” to the bills’ approach.
“Bills targeting specific companies, rather than focusing on business practices, are simply bad policy…and may be declared unconstitutional,” House Speaker Neil Bradley said in a statement.
Instead, Robert Wiseman, president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, said, “The uncontrolled growth and dominance of big tech has led to incredible abuses of power that have hurt consumers, workers, small businesses and innovation. That uncontrolled power ends now.”
The second measure would make it illegal in most cases for a platform to give preference to its own products on its platform, with a heavy fine of 30% of revenue if you violate the measure.
The third law would require a platform to refrain from any merger unless it can demonstrate that the acquiring company is not competing with any product or service on the platform.
The fourth requires platforms to allow users to transfer their data elsewhere if they wish, even to a competing company.
In addition to these four, a fifth bill would increase what it would cost the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to evaluate the largest companies to ensure mergers are legal and increase agency budgets. The Senate has already approved a similar bill.
By Diane Bartz, Reuters