WASHINGTON, D.C. – During an all-night markup session, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee passed five bills to take on Big Tech monopolies. A sixth bill to break them up is expected to be voted on today. Alex Harman, competition policy advocate for Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“House Judiciary’s bills are a huge step toward finally holding Big Tech monopolies accountable. Big Tech’s unchecked growth has led to outrageous abuses of power that have harmed consumers, workers, small businesses, innovation, and our democracy. That unchecked power is finally coming to an end.
“Everyone should be eyes wide open about what’s occurring: For decades, Big Tech has been able to do whatever it wants. Now, as Congress on a bipartisan basis has finally taken note of the consequences for privacy, individual autonomy, worker rights, competitive markets, and even a functioning democracy, they are taking action to restrain those abuses and address the concentration of economic and political power.
“Big Tech executives feel personally affronted at this challenge to their power, and they are not going to accept it willingly. Big Tech companies are deploying its top lobbyists, their front groups, and their CEOs to block legislative action. They’re going to dig deep into their bottomless wallets to try to scam the American public into believing that competitive markets will hurt consumers. Fortunately, all the money in the world is not going to succeed in tricking the public on this score. Some things are just too hard to sell.
“The bills already approved would require Big Tech to treat companies that use their platforms fairly by not self-preferencing their own products, require them make their platforms available to competitors, and require them to give users control of their data and the freedom to switch services, as well as prevent these companies from buying up competitors.
“The final bill would give the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission more leeway to break up Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple along specific lines of business, and we urge the committee to approve this measure. Approving this final bill is crucial to sending a strong message to Big Tech that Congress is finally gearing up to rein in their power.
“Public Citizen applauds House Judiciary for taking on this important fight to crack down on runaway corporate power, but it is not over yet. All eyes are on the committee this morning to see whether they stand with consumers, workers, and small businesses – or with Big Tech and their billionaire barons.”