The power of major technology companies in not just the United States, but also the world around, has continued to be a major topic of discussion and politics for quite some time now. As groups like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have grown into behemoths, so too have their powers been arguably left unchecked and unregulated enough to allow them to push most competitors out of the way. In the latest move of politics against big tech powers, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act bill has come to the floor to bring antitrust regulation to the tech giants.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act bill is set to be introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., chair of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, alongside Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, as reported by CNBC. If passed, the bill would prohibit dominant online platforms from utilizing discriminatory force that would include purposely disadvantaging rival business and forcing preference of their own products over others. In particular, this last point would affect Amazon, Google, and Apple, which already use their marketplaces and information networks to rank their own products higher and gatekeep their rivals.
As the bill has been set to be introduced, spokespersons for those tech firms have complained the bill unfairly targets major companies while not addressing actual problems the internet faces.
“Congress and tech companies have plenty of work to do to make the Internet better, safer, and healthier -- but instead of doing that, this bill takes a hammer to tech products that consumers love,” wrote Adam Kovacevich, CEO of the Chamber of Progress group backed by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and further tech companies. “Preventing Amazon from selling Amazon Basics and banning Google’s maps from its search results isn’t going to do anything to make the Internet better for families.”
To that, Klobuchar argued that the laws have to evolve and regulate big tech powers and they have not kept up to do so. Klobuchar and Grassley have yet to introduce the bill, but have promised to do so soon. Antitrust in big tech has been a major topic over the past few years, especially in regards to Facebook and Apple. It will remain to be seen if this bill is actually passed. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for further info and updates.