New antitrust bill aims to stop Big Tech from disadvantaging rivals

2 days ago

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), seat of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee connected Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, speaks during a proceeding connected "Big Data, Big Questions: Implications for Competition and Consumers" successful Washington, D.C., U.S., September 21, 2021.

Ting Shen | Pool | Reuters

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., the seat of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee connected antitrust, said Thursday she volition soon present a large antitrust measure aimed astatine Big Tech alongside Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which shares a sanction and wide features with a measure introduced by House Judiciary subcommittee connected antitrust Chairman David Cicilline, D-R.I., would prohibit ascendant online platforms from engaging successful discriminatory behavior. That could see wielding their gatekeeper powerfulness to disadvantage rivals oregon to penchant their ain products implicit others.

Cicilline's mentation of the measure was voted retired of the House Judiciary Committee this summer.

The measure would person profound implications for companies similar Amazon, Apple and Google which each tally their ain marketplaces for products oregon information. Those companies person been accused of ranking their ain products higher than rivals' successful an effort to make much profits for themselves.

Third-party sellers connected Amazon, for example, person suspected the level ranks its ain akin backstage statement products implicit their own. Travel oregon section hunt sites similar Yelp and Tripadvisor person complained that Google unfairly lowers their links successful hunt results successful favour of premier placement of its Google Maps tool. The platforms person denied immoderate misconduct and accidental their decisions are based connected determinations astir what volition marque up the champion acquisition for users.

"Congress and tech companies person plentifulness of enactment to bash to marque the Internet better, safer, and healthier -- but alternatively of doing that, this measure takes a hammer to tech products that consumers love," wrote Adam Kovacevich, CEO of Chamber of Progress, a center-left radical backed by Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, among others. "Preventing Amazon from selling Amazon Basics and banning Google's maps from its hunt results isn't going to bash thing to marque the Internet amended for families."

Klobuchar said successful a connection that the measure would assistance much prime to consumers.

"As Big Tech has grown and evolved implicit the years, our laws person not changed to support up and guarantee these companies are competing fairly," Grassley said successful a statement. "Big Tech needs to beryllium held accountable if they behave successful a discriminatory manner. Our measure volition assistance make a much adjacent playing tract and guarantee that tiny businesses are capable to vie with these platforms."

So far, the measure includes Democratic co-sponsors Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Republican co-sponsors Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., John Kennedy, R-La., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.

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