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Google, Facebook pressure is lacking as major antitrust laws move forward in the House Commission

Washington — House Committee Approves Extensive Law Suppress market dominance of tech giants, Alphabet Inc. Google and Facebook Inc. Much of that effort, including, faced intensive lobbying by affected companies, delayed the work of the Commission and foresaw a battle in the Senate.

With a package of six invoices, the most important step to pass by the end of Wednesday is for users to transfer data to and communicate with users on other platforms through the largest internet platforms. Will be easier.Bill-known as Strengthen compatibility and competition by enabling service switching, access, and action— Will give the Federal Trade Commission a wide range of new powers to set individual standards for high-tech giants. I passed 25-19.

The bill still has to go through the full house, and the schedule for bringing the bill to the floor for the final vote remains unclear.

However, as Republicans and some Democrats expressed concern and submitted amendments, discussions on the House Judiciary Committee’s bill continued all day long and continued into the night.

The package’s highlight, a measure that bans large tech companies from supporting their products on the platform in a variety of situations, wasn’t yet considered until late Wednesday night. The bill is American Choice and Innovation Online ActProhibits large platforms from engaging in actions that favor their products and services, disadvantage other business users, or distinguish business users in similar positions.

Two other less controversial bills have also been adopted. One raised federal fees for corporate merger reviews and the other assisted the state prosecutor in a procedural battle in antitrust proceedings.

This package was the culmination of a lengthy investigation by the House Antitrust Subcommittee. It turns out that big tech companies are taking advantage of it to end competition and curb innovation, and Congress needs to consider forcing its platform to separate from other business lines. I added.

In summary, the bill marks the beginning of many Congressional efforts to reinvigorate antitrust enforcement among tech companies by updating the law that says it is late. Congressman David Siciline (D., RI) said the unrestrained power of the largest tech companies threatened economic equity, and even America’s democracy itself.

“Fundamentally, this is a fundamental question of whether companies fighting for economic survival can actually succeed in the economy,” said Siciline.

The effort has been endorsed by the Biden administration and recently surprised Silicon Valley companies by naming young progressives. Big Tech critic Lina Khan, As chair of the FTC, one of two federal agencies that enforce US antitrust law. Kahn is a former House antitrust staff member involved in the Big Tech research. She is expected to refocus the authorities’ enforcement efforts on anti-competitive issues.

However, the White House has suggested that some legislation may require further work, reflecting potential issues in the future.

“The president is encouraged by bipartisan efforts to address the problems posed by the Big Tech platform,” a White House official said. “We hope that the legislative process will continue to move these bipartisan proposals forward, and we look forward to working with Congress to continue developing these ideas.”

Legislative efforts have also struck fierce opposition from many major tech companies and their Washington allies on either side of the aisle.

Google urged lawmakers to postpone action on the bill until further debate took place. Mark Isakovitz, Google’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy, said: “All this dramatically undermines US technology leadership, impairs the way small businesses connect with consumers, and raises serious privacy and security concerns.”

Apple Co., Ltd.

We released a report on Wednesday claiming to oppose the rules of the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, which allows users to download apps to their iPhones. Without using Apple’s App Store.. The company says it harms customers by threatening privacy and parental controls and potentially exposing user data to ransomware attacks.

Many Republicans have also expressed concern that the package has gone too far by passing too much new power to government agencies, but a few tech-friendly Democrats have sufficiently sophisticated legislation. Raised concern that it was not.

Bill voice critic Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) says it represents an interesting example of big tech and big government “now married and working together.” It was. He complained that it would give the FTC an unprecedented power to set industrial policy and impose its own political agenda on affected companies.

Some lawmakers also

Microsoft Co., Ltd.

Lobbying was generally done to avoid being subject to legislation that only affects the largest platforms. Mr Siciline denied that the bill was exempt from any company.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said he wasn’t asking for changes to the bill to make it unaffected by the law.

Other lawmakers questioned the wisdom of regulating only the largest technology platforms.

The fight can intensify in the coming weeks. Antitrust law continues to be one of the major vulnerabilities in Congress this year for big tech companies, but some of the Commission’s broader legislation is a difficult battle to become law in its current form. Facing

In the Senate, Senator Amy Klobuchar (Democratic Party of Minnesota) is leading an effort to pass antitrust legislation and has already developed a wide range of change packages. She also focuses on making more proposals in line with some house measures, especially indiscriminate bills.

She said in a statement: “We look forward to continuing to work with members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to curb the freedom of Big Tech.”

Write to John D. McKinnon john.mckinnon@wsj.com

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Google, Facebook pressure is lacking as major antitrust laws move forward in the House Commission

Source link Google, Facebook pressure is lacking as major antitrust laws move forward in the House Commission

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