NEWS & ANALYSIS

Lawmakers Fight Off Big Tech, Introduce Sweeping Antitrust Bill


House lawmakers introduced sweeping antitrust legislation Friday to fight back against Big Tech’s powerful reign. 

The five bills, which are the most ambitious updates to monopoly laws in decades, are directed specifically at Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google and their hold on online commerce, information and entertainment. 

The legislation would make it easier to disband businesses that use their dominance in one area to get a leg-up in another, as reported by the New York Times. 

“Right now, unregulated tech monopolies have too much power over our economy. They are in a unique position to pick winners and losers, destroy small businesses, raise prices on consumers and put folks out of work,” Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the antitrust subcommittee, said “Our agenda will level the playing field and ensure the wealthiest, most powerful tech monopolies play by the same rules as the rest of us.”

The bills have some bipartisan support. 

“These are just the type of new laws we need to really address the problem of gatekeeper power by dominant digital platforms,” Charlotte Slaiman, the competition director for Public Knowledge, a public interest group, said. “Big tech firms have so many powerful tools to protect their monopolies. These bills would give antitrust enforcers a few more powerful tools to open up digital platform markets for competition.”