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House lawmakers on Friday unveiled five bills designed to rein in big tech companies and loosen their stranglehold on digital industries.

The new legislation is specifically aimed at Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook, which have all faced increased scrutiny over antitrust concerns in recent years. The bills have largely bipartisan support and would equip regulators with more power to control tech firms from holding too much market dominance, their sponsors said. 

“Right now, unregulated tech monopolies have too much power over our economy,” Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline said in a press release.”They are in a unique position to pick winners and losers, destroy small businesses, raise prices on consumers, and put folks out of work.”

Insider has reached out to Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google for comment. 

The five bills are described below:

The “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” will prohibit companies from discriminating against smaller competitors and prioritizing their own products ahead of others
The “Platform Competition and Opportunity Act” will empower regulators to block dominant companies from acquiring would-be competitors
The “Ending Platform Monopolies Act” will prohibit companies from stomping out smaller competitors and undermine fair and free online competition
The “Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act” will make it easier for new companies to enter the market by changing requirements that affect costs for businesses
The “Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act” will update filing fees for mergers “for the first time in two decades,” according to the press release, so that regulators can better enforce antitrust laws

This new legislation would mark an important milestone in establishing regulations for the booming, and historically unregulated, tech industry.

Congress has cracked down hard on Big Tech recently, particularly in 2019 and 2020, when it conducted a months-long investigation into the companies over online competition. Each company was being probed …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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