For too long, Big Tech monopolists have abused their unchecked power as gatekeepers of information, communications, and commerce. They have exploited their market dominance and our century-old antitrust laws to acquire and kill competitors; to crush small businesses and news publishers; to surveil and profile consumers; to manipulate public discourse and undermine democracy.
Republicans and Democrats are coming together to bring an end to this era of impunity. The historic legislative package to rein in Big Tech is the culmination of two years of bipartisan work. The House antitrust investigation into Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google included seven bipartisan hearings, 240 interviews, and the production of 1.3 million internal documents.
Since that probe was launched in June of 2019 – amid unprecedented global scrutiny, public outrage over a litany of controversies, and a pandemic that brought America to its knees – the tech giants have collectively bought up more than 50 companies and gained $3 trillion in value. This is the behavior of companies that have grown too big to care.
The House package includes five bills, all of which are bipartisan, that take direct aim at Big Tech’s anticompetitive behavior. They would:
- Ban these companies from self-dealing and rigging the marketplaces they operate
- Prevent them from buying up potential competitors
- Force them to sell off lines of business that create conflicts of interest
- Empower users to take their data and leave dominant platforms and interact with them through competing platforms
- Fortify the underfunded agencies that defend consumers from Big Tech’s abuses
Simply put, this legislation would level the playing field – for social media users who don’t want Facebook surveilling them and feeding them toxic content; for app developers who don’t want to pay Apple a 30% shakedown; for small business owners who don’t want Amazon stealing their best-selling items; for publishers who want Google to stop siphoning away their ad revenue.
Big Tech’s army of lobbyists is already out in full force, insisting that these bills would break the internet. The truth is that they will just break Big Tech’s stranglehold, forcing them to actually compete on the merits of their services in healthy markets. And it’s about time.