Biden to sign executive order cracking down on big tech antitrust and in support of net neutrality

The White House's new plan aims to curb anti-competitive practices in the tech industry and allow the FTC to investigate previously cleared "bad mergers."


The Biden administration took action earlier today against anti-competitive practices across a variety of industries by way of an executive order. The order includes a total of 72 directives and/or recommendations and covers issues related to non-compete clauses, net neutrality, and corporate consolidation.

Some of the goals and initiatives in the executive order include:

  • Urging the Federal Trade Commission to “challenge prior bad mergers” that previous administrations let slide
  • Pushing the FTC to ban occupational licensing restrictions, arguing they “impede economic mobility”
  • Encouraging the FTC to ban or limit non-compete agreements
  • Encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to restore net neutrality rules that were undone during the Trump administration
  • Asking the FCC to block exclusivity deals between landlords and broadband providers
  • Lowering prescription drug prices by supporting state and tribal efforts to import cheaper drugs from Canada
  • Allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter
  • Establishing a White House Competition Council to lead federal responses to large corporations’ growing economic power

The White House argues that consolidated power amongst the biggest companies in the country has had a negative impact on wages and competition. Biden’s executive order also asks the FTC to create rules for data collection and user surveillance practices and asks the agency to prohibit certain unfair methods of competition for online marketplaces.

“The impulse for this executive order is really around where can we encourage greater competition across the board,” the White House’s chief economic advisor, Brian Deese, told CNBC. The order comes after years of concerns that the world’s biggest tech firms had grown too large and unfairly stifled smaller companies from having a chance to grow in existing and emerging markets. The ball is now in the court of the regulatory agencies that will hold additional power as a direct result of this order.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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