A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the US House of Representatives introduced four bills on Friday aimed at reining in the power of the tech giants, with one potentially leading to their break-up.
Two of the bills address the issue of giant companies, such as Amazon.com and Alphabet’s Google, creating a platform for other businesses and then competing against those same businesses.
One measure bans platforms from owning subsidiaries that operate on their platform if those subsidiaries compete with other businesses – potentially forcing the Big Tech firms to sell assets.
“From Amazon and Facebook to Google and Apple, it is clear that these unregulated tech giants have become too big to care,” said US Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Washington state Democrat and sponsor of this measure.
The pro-business US Chamber of Commerce said it “strongly opposes” the bills’ approach. “Bills that target specific companies, instead of focusing on business practices, are simply bad policy … and could be ruled unconstitutional,” the Chamber’s Neil Bradley said in a statement.
In contrast, Robert Weissman, president of advocacy group Public Citizen, said “Big Tech’s unchecked growth and dominance have led to incredible abuses of power that have hurt consumers, workers, small businesses and innovation. That unchecked power ends now.”
Representative David Cicilline, the Democratic chair of the antitrust panel, is an original co-sponsor of the bills, as is the top Republican, Ken Buck. The…