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5 Antitrust Bill Drafts On Tap Aimed At Big Tech

5 Antitrust Bill Drafts On Tap Aimed At Big Tech

June 10, 2021 at 04:28PM
by PYMNTS

U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers are in the midst of finalizing drafts of five laws targeting Big Tech, Reuters reported, citing sources.

Four of the five antitrust bills on tap are solely directed at curbing Big Tech and could be rolled out in the coming days, three sources told the news outlet. Reuters reported that it has read the drafts of all five measures being proposed by the House. 

Two of the sources told Reuters that the drafts could be further revised before being introduced. Although anticipated for introduction this week, a delay is possible. 

Of the five bill drafts, two specifically target digital platforms like Amazon that compete with the merchants on their sites with their own private-label brands. 

One of those bills would make it against the law for eCommerce platforms to prioritize their own brands and products. Violators could face a fine as high as 30 percent of revenues of any affected merchants, per Reuters. The other bill mandates that platforms unload any businesses that could give it an incentive to boost their own products.

The third proposed bill would mandate that eCommerce platforms sidestep mergers that compete with its own business. The fourth draft bill would require that platforms facilitate a way for users to transfer data, even if it is to a competing business, Reuters reported. 

A fifth draft bill would up the fees that the Department of Justice(DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can charge for assessing bigger firms and making sure any mergers were completed within the law. The measure would also up the budgets of those federal agencies.

The Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act, introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) in April, is aiming to beef up antitrust enforcement to break up companies that behave in anti-competitive ways.

Lina Khan, President Joe Biden’s pick to chair the Federal Trade Commission, said in April that antitrust enforcers need to pay more attention to Big Tech’s power over digital markets

The House Judiciary Committee in April moved to approve a report that alleges Big Tech firms — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — operate like monopolies.

Regulators are eyeing Big Tech in the U.S., U.K., China, and in many regions across the globe.