Senate joins Big Tech antitrust fray

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Min.) unveiled a bill Thursday that would ban companies like Amazon and Google from supporting their services.

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why it matters: The Senate law, which is similar to a bipartisan House bill, shows Republicans and Democrats in both houses are eager to pass new rules on the nation’s biggest technology companies.

running news: Klobuchar, chair of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are major sponsors of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act.

  • The law would prohibit major online platforms from favoring their products or services. This prevents them from discriminating against businesses on their platform in a way that hurts competition.
  • The bill also bans specific practices that lawmakers call harmful, including requiring a business to purchase a major platform’s goods or services for preferred placement on its platform, or for the business to compete against them. misuse of data.
  • The Senate version differs from its House counterpart by lowering the market-capitalization threshold for companies considered a covered platform from the House’s $600 billion to $550 billion.
  • Other sponsors include Sans Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Corey Booker (D-NJ), and Cynthia Loomis (R-SC). Are included. -WY).
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What are they saying: “As the leading digital platforms – some of the biggest companies our world has seen – increasingly prioritize their products and services, we need policies to ensure small businesses and entrepreneurs still have the opportunity to succeed in the digital marketplace. should be made,” Klobuchar said in a statement.

On the other end: Critics of the House Edition have said It would put restrictions on services that consumers enjoy, such as Amazon’s Prime shipping.

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Flashback: The House Judiciary Committee approved five bills in June that:

  • Stop big online companies from favoring your products on their platforms.
  • They need to make their services interoperable and their user data portable.
  • Allow antitrust promoters to break into companies that have a platform and provide a competing service on that platform.
  • Limit acquisitions by major tech companies to smaller firms.
  • Other measures include increasing the fee for filing mergers, and giving the state attorney general more power at the site for antitrust cases.

yes but: Many of those House votes came over objections from California Democrats, including Rep. Zoe Lofgren, as well as some Republicans.

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