Approval of laws targeting the practices of major technology companies

The US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved bills aimed at reining in big tech companies through a sweeping overhaul of antitrust laws, foreshadowing heated debates in Congress.

In a marathon session in the early hours of the morning, members of the House Judicial Affairs Committee approved six bills targeting the practices of Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.

One of the measures approved by the committee is to prevent electronic platforms from giving preference to their products and services, in response to complaints accusing major technology companies of adopting a discriminatory approach against competitors and crushing any competition.

In a session punctuated by several attempts to amend or soften the legislation, the committee approved the imposition of a feature that would eliminate the exclusivity of operating platforms, which would make it easier for users to switch services while preserving their data, and a separate bill prohibiting the acquisition of large technology companies over their competitors.

final project

The committee is scheduled to resume its meetings, later on Thursday, to consider a recent draft law aimed at limiting the capabilities of the dominant platforms to benefit from their control in multiple areas of work.

Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said that the package of bills targets “a small group of electronic platforms”, which now control the majority of what is traded in the “digital market.”

He stressed that “in many cases, companies and consumers no longer have viable electronic alternatives.”

After the committee has completed its consideration, the bills will be referred to the House of Representatives, where it is expected that discussions will be heated, amid the strong opposition of the technology sector and its allies.

Passing any bill would require a vote in the House and Senate, and President Joe Biden’s signature.

The legislation would impose controls on the working mechanisms of electronic platforms, and pave the way for limiting their ability to provide their own services, in markets that they manage.


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