US House Impeachment Manager David Sicilin (D-RI) speaks on the second day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump at the US Capitol on February 10, 2021 in Washington, DC.
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According to copies obtained by CNBC, a group of House Democrats is circulating discussion drafts of antitrust bills that would force the biggest tech companies to change parts of their business models and reduce large acquisitions.
While the drafts may still have changed significantly prior to their introduction, as currently written, they may require a business model overhaul for Apple and Amazon while selling their goods and apps at the same stores and products and services. Their ability to operate a marketplace for apps may be limited.
The bill would make it harder for those companies, as well as Facebook and Alphabet (Google’s parent company), to complete the major merger, and force them to make it easier for users to leave their platform with their own data. CNBC could not immediately know when the draft would be introduced.
The draft bill comes after a 16-month investigation by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on antitrust in four companies that culminated in a nearly 450-page report from Democratic employees. While Republicans in the subcommittee diverged from some of the Democrats’ more extreme proposals, many Democrats agreed on the main findings of the report on monopolistic power and anti-competitive behavior and the need to rein in Big Tech’s power with antitrust reform.
The drafts do not indicate whether a Republican is supporting the bill.
what is a draft bill called
Specifically, the five discussion draft would prevent platforms from owning businesses that present a conflict of interest, prohibit large platforms from favoring their own products over competitors who rely on their sites, Completing mergers for larger platforms, increasing filing fees for acquisitions and mandate methods for users to move their data between platforms.
Joe Negues, D-Colo., appears to be collaborative legislation in the Senate to the bipartisan Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, which passed in that chamber on Tuesday as part of a $250 billion larger tech and manufacturing happen. Bill. That bill would increase the fees they pay to notify the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division of the major merger, with the goal of raising funds for those agencies.
The other four drafts obtained by CNBC include:
- Abolition of Platform Monopoly Act: Sponsored by Representative Pramila Jayapal, vice-chair of the subcommittee, D-Wash, the bill would make it illegal for a platform with at least 500,000 monthly active US users and more than $600 billion to own or operate a business. Higher market cap. presents a clear conflict of interest. The draft defines an unlawful conflict as one that encourages a business to favor its services to competitors or harm potential competitors who use the platform. Lawmakers have previously expressed concern that both Amazon and Apple, which run their own platforms for sellers and developers respectively, could undermine competition by causing conflicts of interest for their own competing products or apps.
- Stage Competition and Opportunity Act: This proposal, from Representative Hakeem Jeffries, D.Y., would shift the burden of proof in merger cases to the major platforms (defined with the same criteria as the previous bill) to prove that their acquisition is in fact legitimate rather than the government . Must prove that they will reduce competition. This measure will substantially slow down acquisitions by major tech firms.
- Platform Anti-Monopoly Act: The bill, proposed by subcommittee chairman David Sicilin, DR.I, would prohibit major platforms from offering benefits of competitors’ products and services on the platform. It will also prohibit other forms of discriminatory behavior by the major platforms, such as cutting off a competitor who uses the platform from the services provided by the platform, and the major platform from using data collected on their services. Restricts what is not public to fuel for others. Its own competing products, among many other restrictions.
- Increasing compatibility and competitiveness by enabling the Service Switching (REACH) Act: Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa.’s proposed bill, would mandate major platforms to maintain certain standards of data portability and interoperability, making it easier for consumers to take their data with them to other platforms.
Representatives of those lawmakers did not react or comment on the draft discussion.
Axios first reported on the draft.
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