Blueprint for Big Tech crackdown gets approved by the Judiciary Committee

The report will act as a deterrent to the market rule of companies like Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc, Google, and Amazon Inc.
Source: Reuters

A statement from the office of US Representative Davis Cicilline on Thursday read that the house of Representatives’ Judiciary committee has approved a report formally that accused big tech firms of curbing or buying smaller companies.

The nearly 400-page report would become an official one from the committee and a blueprint for the legislation. This came in after the approval during an extended partisan hearing. The report will act as a deterrent to the market rule of companies like Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc, Google, and Amazon Inc.

As the companies denied wrongdoings, the report was approved by the house over a 24-17 vote majority divided among the party lines. This report, which is the very first congressional review based on the technology industry, proposes extensive modifications to antitrust law.

The report, released in October last year, also cited and described dozens of instances where the companies misused their power, as per the report.

“Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook each hold monopoly power over significant sectors of our economy. This monopoly moment must end. I look forward to crafting legislation that addresses the significant concerns we have raised,” said Davis in a statement.

The US lawmakers led by Davis and Senator Amy Klobuchar formed a bipartisan group and introduced in March the legislation focusing on easing the new firms and organizations to collectively negotiate with the bigger platforms. The initial bill relevant to this has already been introduced.

The Davis report has a list of potential changes to the antitrust law. The origins of this report were bipartisan. Klobuchar already introduced a bill in the Senate in February to give powers to the antitrust law’s enforcers to curb these mergers by providing them additional money for legal battles and reducing the stopping deals’ bar.

Republicans pointed out big tech companies for allegedly restricting conservative speech, pointing out former President Trump’s ban to accessing their platforms. The Republicans haven’t backed these amendments in antitrust law and talked about snatching the legal protections for social media companies.

The immunity is accorded as per Section 230 of CDA (Communications Decency Act) giving these companies protection over the users’ content on their sites.

The suggestions in the report varied from being aggressive, by barring tech companies from controlling the market which they also fight, to normal, like improving the enforcing agencies for antitrust law’s budget. The report also pressed Congress to leave the enforcers freely to stop the companies from buying their potential rivals, a harder thing right now.

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