US Bill Seeking to Rein In Tech Mergers
A new bipartisan legislation was introduced with the aim of hindering Amazon and other tech giants’ ability to make major acquisitions.
Day by day, the world is looking more Orwellian as big tech companies rapidly creep into every facet of our lives in an attempt to control it. The worst part about it is their ability to constantly get larger by swallowing smaller or equally big companies, hence limiting the prospects of competition and free choice.
The possibility of it getting any worse has long cast a looming shadow over US politics, the incubator of the world’s largest tech behemoths, yet policymakers have remained idle.
Now two US senators are introducing a bipartisan legislation aiming to hinder Amazon’s and other tech giants’ ability to make similar acquisitions.
The bill was conceived by two senators, Democrat Amy Klobuchar who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, and Republican Tom Cotton.
If approved, the bill would ease the government’s halting of deals which it believes to be breaking antitrust law, by forcing the big companies, such as Alphabet’s Google and Facebook, to prove in court that these deals are healthy for competition and are thus legal.
Recently, a legislation similar to this one was introduced and has been approved in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. Nonetheless, it still lies in wait for a vote by the full House.
Large-scale acquisitions made by tech companies are well-known to smother any form of competition and ensure monopolization of the market, which in turn causes a major hike in prices of specific products or services.
Usually, proving that a particular transaction is illegal for the aforementioned reasons is a task relegated to the government in antitrust enforcement despite its role diminishing due to the overlapping influence of powerful tech lobbyists.
“This bipartisan legislation will put an end to those anticompetitive acquisitions” Klobuchar stated, “by making it more difficult for dominant digital platforms to eliminate their competitors and enhance the platform's market power.”
The Democratic Senator, along with other Senators, has introduced in October a bill barring Big Tech platforms from putting their products and services ahead of others, although it has to get approved by both houses of Congress in order to become law.
Bills seeking to rein in tech giants’ influence have been thrown around US Senate and Congress for a while now, with none being passed or having a serious impact on their practices which seems outrageous, notably as accusations of misconduct, monopolization, and spreading misinformation against these companies have been piling up recently.