Democrats and Republicans presented Friday before the United States Congress five bills targeting “monopolies” from tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, but their adoption remains uncertain.
“Currently, unregulated technology monopolies they have too much power over the economy“wrote Democrat David Cicillin, chairman of a House antitrust committee.
“They are in a unique position to pick winners and losers, destroy small businesses, raise consumer prices, and put people out of work.”
His Republican colleague Ken Buck added that these bills “break the monopoly power of big technology over what Americans can see and say online, promote an online market that fosters innovation and empowers American small businesses. A level playing field “.
Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook. AP Photo
“Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google have prioritized power over innovation and in doing so have hurt American businesses and consumers,” he noted.
The bills were drafted by lawmakers who make up this “antitrust” subcommittee, which in 2020 completed a 16-month investigation into the “antitrust”Glasses“(acronym for Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) and wrote a report in which he advocated dividing these companies, accused of abuse of a dominant position.
One of these texts prohibits the acquisition of small groups that threaten “dominant platforms” with the sole objective of making them disappear.
Another “prohibits groups like Amazon from manipulating their online marketplace to promote their own products.”
However, while Democrats and Republicans teamed up to draft them, they are not guaranteed to pass in Congress.
Republicans hostile to “Gafa,” in particular, may be more resistant to voting “antitrust” laws of this kind.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association, of which Amazon, Facebook and Google are members, convened public hearings on these texts on Friday, before their official presentation. If the projects were approved, it would mean “the biggest change in antitrust policies in America since 1890”, he claimed.
The American Chamber of Commerce is also concerned that these texts target particular companies.
“Laws that target specific companies instead of focusing on business practices are just bad policies, they are fundamentally unfair and they could be declared unconstitutional, “said House Vice Speaker Neil Bradley.
The order: dividing Amazon Facebook and Google
“Gafam”: Microsoft also makes the list, but it is the least attacked by politics. AFP photo
The Judicial Committee of the US Lower House had approved in mid-April of this year a report that accuses firms such as Amazon, Facebook and Google of having taken advantage of their dominance to eradicate competition, so he urges Congress to divide those tech giants.
The document had the support of 24 lawmakers, all Democrats, while seven Republicans voted against it.
The text, which was first published in October last year, was prepared after research for 16 months the market position of Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google.
In this sense, the report affirms that Facebook and Google have the power of a monopoly, while Apple and Amazon maintain a “significant and lasting market power”.
In addition, the United States antitrust agencies are criticized, which are said to have failed to limit the predominance of these companies.
The United States asks to regulate. Photo: Shutterstock
The 449-page report recommends that Congress consider a series of measures, such as legislation that forces these companies to separate their popular internet platforms from other lines of business, in addition to changes in antitrust laws to reinvigorate the apparent absence of firm compliance.
The report does not carry legal consequences in itself, but lawmakers are confident that its findings will encourage policy makers to take action.
“Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook maintain a monopoly in significant sectors of our economy. That monopoly must endr “, the document concluded.