August 10, 2022
Big Tech antitrust: US bill introduced to bar Amazon, Google, more firms from favoring their products

About a dozen US senators from both sides on Monday formally introduced a bill that would bar big tech platforms like Amazon and Alphabet’s Google from favoring their products and services. The bill follows a bill introduced with the goal of reining in the external market power of tech firms including industry leaders Facebook and Apple. No legislation thus far passed, although one that would increase resources for antitrust promoters did pass the Senate.

Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley’s bill would prohibit the platform from requiring companies operating on their sites to purchase the platform’s goods or services and from biasing search results in favor of the platform.

A colleague has passed the House Judiciary Committee. It has to pass through both houses of Congress to become law.

Amazon’s India operations carried out a systematic campaign of creating knock-offs and manipulating search results to promote its private brands in the country, Reuters reported on Wednesday after a review of thousands of internal Amazon documents, the company’s most recent One of the largest growth markets.

When news of the bill broke last week, both Amazon and Google warned of potentially unintended consequences.

Amazon said in a statement that the bill, if it becomes law, would “harm consumers and the more than 500,000 small and medium-sized businesses that sell in Amazon stores, and it would risk the creation of more than 1 million jobs.” Will put in. by those businesses.”

Google said the measure would make it more difficult for companies to offer free services – Google’s Search and Maps are both free – and would make “those services less secure, less private and less secure”.

Facebook, which said it competes with a range of social media including TikTok and Twitter, said antitrust laws should not “attempt to eliminate the products and services on which people depend.”

Klobuchar chairs the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee while Grassley is the top Republican on the full committee. Co-sponsors include five Democrats and five Republicans.

Klobuchar’s office said in a statement that companies expressing support for the bill include Spotify, Roku, Match Group and DuckDuckGo.

Stacy Mitchell, with the Local Self-Reliance Institute, said the bill would not break companies or force them to abandon services, but does prevent some of the bad practices that rely on their platforms, which she said was a more aggressive bill. Would like it.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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