Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,557
19,307


U.S. House lawmakers today announced sweeping bipartisan antitrust legislation that could result in major changes to the tech industry, impacting companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

app-store-blue-banner.jpg

These measures are the culmination of a 16-month antitrust investigation into tech companies practices that kicked off in 2019, and which saw Apple CEO Tim Cook testify in an antitrust hearing alongside Alphabet/Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

At the conclusion of that hearing, which took place in July 2020, the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee leading the inquiry released a 450 page report with recommendations that have turned into the new antitrust bills that were proposed today. The five bills are aimed at Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google, with Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline suggesting the legislation will "level the playing field."
"The American people sent us to Washington to get things done. Nothing is more important than ensuring every American has an opportunity to get ahead. Right now, unregulated tech monopolies have too much power over our economy. They are in a unique position to pick winners and losers, destroy small businesses, raise prices on consumers, and put folks out of work. Our agenda will level the playing field and ensure the wealthiest, most powerful tech monopolies play by the same rules as the rest of us."
Rep. Ken Buck, the lead Republican on the committee, said that the four major tech companies have "harmed American businesses and consumers" by prioritizing "power over innovation."
"Big Tech has abused its dominance in the marketplace to crush competitors, censor speech, and control how we see and understand the world. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google have prioritized power over innovation and harmed American businesses and consumers in the process. These companies have maintained monopoly power in the online marketplace by using a variety of anticompetitive behaviors to stifle competition. This legislation breaks up Big Tech's monopoly power to control what Americans see and say online, and fosters an online market that encourages innovation and provides American small businesses with a fair playing field. Doing nothing is not an option, we must act now."
There are five separate bipartisan bills that have been drafted by lawmakers, as outlined below:
Apple's competitors have already been weighing in on the bills. Spotify legal chief Horatio Gutierrez said in a statement that the American Choice and Innovation Online Act is an "important step in addressing anti-competitive conduct in the App Store ecosystem, and a clear sign that momentum has shifted as the world is waking up to the need to demand fair competition in the App economy."

If ultimately passed, the legislation will overhaul competition laws that have not been revisited for decades, but tech companies will likely fight the bills.

Article Link: U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Antitrust Legislation That Could Significantly Impact Apple and Other Tech Companies
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2008
3,442
3,917
If ultimately passed, the legislation will overhaul competition laws that have not been revisited for decades, but tech companies will likely fight the bills.
My money is on this being kabuki theater.

Remember those big banks that caused the great financial crisis in 2008? Those guys are bigger than ever despite 12+ years of dog & pony shows in DC.
 
Last edited:

spyguy10709

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2010
964
594
One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
About time. The concept of antitrust/antimonopoly is an old one, when people talk about a time when america was "great" - these types of policies (as well as labor unions) curtailed corporate greed. Look into Teddy Roosevelt and the trust-busters. This legislation seems to enhance competition, not stifle it. I see this as a win for all Americans.

Without updating these laws to apply to the 21st century? One of our country's greatest assets - the fair and free open market, cannot exist.
 

TheRealTVGuy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2010
697
1,134
Orlando, FL
“Prioritizing power over innovation”?! What the hell are they talking about? Have they been living under a rock since 2006?

“Updating Filing Fees” aka increasing prices to make it more of a burden on the companies they’re purportedly trying to help.

“Prohibiting Acquisitions” talk about stifling innovation/sector growth.

No, we the people did NOT send you to Washington for this. None of it. Again, unless it has to do with Food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, transportation, the value of the dollar, or a standing military, stay the hell out of it!
 

fwmireault

Contributor
Jul 4, 2019
1,134
4,509
Montreal, Canada
Seems like a step in the right direction. I wonder who gets to define what is a dominant platform? I mean would the Playstation 5 buisness model be legal under this legislation?
WSJ : “ The definitions of companies targeted by the bills state that they must have a market capitalization of $600 billion or more, must have more than 500,000 active monthly users and must be a critical trading partner. ”
 

TheRealTVGuy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2010
697
1,134
Orlando, FL
What justifies dominant platforms, a too successful business?
If anything it disenfranchises and disincentives companies from providing innovative, easy to use, top-to-bottom ecosystems that make the world a better place.

Why invest in building hardware, software, and maintaining marketplace if the feds can just come in and make you share it?
 

TheRealTVGuy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2010
697
1,134
Orlando, FL
No it looks like it was explicitly defined to target Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon
Because THAT’S the kind of power the government should have. :rolleyes:

At that point, aren’t they doing exactly what they’re accusing Apple of doing, picking the winners and the losers?

Hell, time to setup “separate” subsidiaries that don’t meet the market cap.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.