The news: The House Judiciary Committee took up legislation Wednesday targeting the monopolistic and anticompetitive practices of US tech giants, per Bloomberg. This first notable bipartisan push is aimed at reigning in Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google’s market dominance. Big Tech lobbyists argue that, if passed into law, the bills would curtail innovation and could upend user privacy, as well as hurt small businesses relying on their services.
How we got here: The proposed measures are the result of a 16-month investigation into the four companies by the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, completed last year, which found that the Big Four hold monopoly power and that antitrust laws should be revised to promote fair competition.
Big Tech companies see the antitrust bills as an existential threat to their business model. They're not wrong:
What’s next? While it is unlikely that all the proposals will become law as written, this is Congress’ best opportunity thus far to curb the dominance of Big Tech. The ultimate aim of the bills is to give regulators the tools and parameters necessary to set tighter controls on tech companies. Legislation could make it harder for the Big Four to acquire competing startups and prevent them from using their dominance in one area of business to influence their involvement in another.