U.S. House’s antitrust report hints at break-up of Big Tech firms

In a draft response seen by Reuters, the U.S. House of Representatives antitrust report on Big Tech firms contains a “thinly veiled call to break up” the companies, Republican Congressman Ken Buck said.

Google breakup. Image: Google logo

Diane Bartz for Reuters:

The House antitrust subcommittee is expected to publish its report this week on Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Google owner Alphabet Inc.

In the draft, Buck said he shared Democratic concerns about the power of Big Tech firms, with their penchant for “killer acquisitions” to eliminate rivals and self-preferencing in guiding customers to their other products.

However, he objected to a plan to require them to delineate a clear “single line of business”. Social media platform Facebook also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, search engine provider Google’s businesses include YouTube and Android, and e-commerce leader Amazon operates a massive cloud computing unit.

“This proposal is a thinly veiled call to break up Big Tech firms. We do not agree with the majority’s approach,” Buck wrote… “The report offers a chilling look into how Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook have used their power to control how we see and understand the world.”

cristiano lima for Politico:

According to the memo, the final report will offer “a menu of potential changes” to existing law aimed at addressing bipartisan concerns that the tech giants have unfairly squelched or scooped up competitors to detriment of their users. The recommendations will include a ban on certain types of mergers, such as on “future acquisitions of potential rivals and start-ups” by major platforms. But Republicans are unlikely to back Democrats’ more aggressive reforms, according to the memo.

Buck said he opposes not-yet-unveiled Democratic proposals aimed at “eliminating arbitration clauses and further opening companies up to class action lawsuits.” And he said he rejects antitrust subcommittee Chair David Cicilline’s (D-R.I.) idea of advancing legislation to force structural breakups of major online platforms like Amazon.

“We agree that antitrust enforcement agencies need additional resources and tools to provide proper oversight,” Buck wrote. “However, these potential changes need not be dramatic to be effective.”

In Buck’s memo, he said the incoming House antitrust report “does not address how Big Tech has used its monopolitic position in the marketplace to censor speech.”

MacDailyNews Take: As usual on Capital Hill, much ado, but nothing much happens.

2 Comments

  1. Play 1 : Dems brake up big tech; the dems will eat big tech alive. It’s gonna to be interesting to watch the marxist hive mind rip google, Facebook and amazon apart and feed them to the wolves. But don’t worry the dems will empower the CCP to step in and pick up the slack.

    Play 2 : Tax the wealth; dems add a 40% tax to “rich” Americans and watch how operations and investments will leave for safer grounds. Rich money has options like Hong Kong, Switzerland, Singapore, Belgium and many others (0% capital gains tax). Even CCP only has 20% Capital Gains Tax. Stupid Taxes scare Smart Investments.

    this will make us more competitive on the world stage.

    Hey bro what happens when those companies just pickup and leave.

    But then again maybe he will forget his plan

    Obama tried to warn us

    Of course the Dems will say bidden’s plan only effect people making over 400K but do the math. Q: Who has the most investments in the market A: the richest people. So when then exodus the US market and move to safer spaces then the rest of us left behind get screwed.

    Play 3: Pack courts, add states …. one party system

    Rinse repete;

    …smash up big tech, add taxes to investments, and watch sugar daddy go bye bye. Cush middle class with 27 trillion debt and increase spending give away free healthcare, free education and free housing to millions more of illegal immigrants… USA game over.

    Whats so amazing is how big Tech has helped empower the very hand that will strangle them. If it wasn’t so tragic is would be entertaining.

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