House Antitrust Subcommittee Proposes Strong Bipartisan Legislation to Rein In Big TechJune 11, 2021
Today, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, led by Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI) and Ranking Member Ken Buck (R-CO), introduced a bipartisan package of bills to invigorate competition against dominant digital platforms. The five bills are led by Reps. Cicilline, Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Joe Neguse (D-CO), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). The bills prohibit anticompetitive discrimination; enable users to communicate across platforms; block dominant digital platforms from buying potential competitors; increase funding to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice; and authorize the FTC and DOJ to break up vertically integrated behemoths if they determine there’s a conflict of interest.
Public Knowledge welcomes this suite of bills that includes real solutions to the digital platform competition problems described by the House Antitrust Subcommittee’s landmark report last year.
The following can be attributed to Charlotte Slaiman, Competition Policy Director at Public Knowledge:
“We are losing the promise of the internet as powerful gatekeepers control access to increasingly wider swaths of online activity. Under this legislation, the FTC and DOJ will be equipped with the most effective tools yet to break open the gates. People should be free to bring new ideas to market and to choose something different when they’re frustrated with misinformation, privacy violations, or worker abuse. These potent bills are a turning point in the ongoing fight to rein in Big Tech.
“For years, Public Knowledge has called for interoperability and non-discrimination requirements for Big Tech to break down the power of the largest gatekeeper platforms and open up the internet for competition and consumer choice. We are so proud to see these ideas come to life in the Subcommittee’s legislative package.
“While our fight continues for a new digital platform agency with rulemaking authority to promote competition, consumer protection, and a better internet into the future, these bills would curb the worst abuses and create the opportunity for real competition against today’s Big Tech platforms.”