Big Technology newsletter: "Congress Is Going To Throw The Kitchen Sink At Big Tech"

Congress begins to fix antitrust law to allow it to take on monopoly platforms

The weekly newsletter Big Technology, written by author and Buzzfeed contributor Alex Kantrowitz, provided a roundup on June 10 of five separate antitrust bills currently circulating within Congress. For each bill, Kantrowitz provides a summary plus his analysis, as a long-time observer of Big Tech antitrust issues, of the potential impact.

Some extracts below. Big Technology, like Alphabetworkers, is a substack newsletter, and at the moment subscriptions are free.

- Bruce

Congress Is Going To Throw The Kitchen Sink At Big Tech

For years, Big Tech crushed the competition with relative impunity, squeezing every dollar from would-be rivals to reach unprecedented valuations. And while their anti-competitive practices may well continue, there are now five draft bills circulating in the House of Representatives that represent the biggest threat ever to their standard method of doing business.

The draft bills, which Big Technology obtained in full, contain just about everything Big Tech’s detractors have hoped for on the antitrust front. They take direct aim at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft’s self-dealing, outline new speed bumps for anti-competitive mergers, and empower feeble federal regulators to bulk up and throw some punches...

Bill 1: Platform Anti-Monopoly Act

This bill from Rep. David Cicilline is a whopper. It contains several provisions aimed at the tech giants’ self-dealing...

Bill 2: Ending Platform Monopolies Act

This bill from Rep. Pramila Jayapal may well be called the “Break ‘em up” bill. It paves the way for the Department of Justice to tear apart the tech giants...

Bill 3: Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching Act of 2021

This bill from Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon focuses on data portability...

Bill 4: Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2021

This bill from Rep. Joe Neguse would increase fees for mergers and help fund the regulators...

Bill 5: Platform Competition and Opportunity Act

... Analysis: Big Tech’s regular practice of acquiring and killing competitors or buying out their most threatening competitors would end with this law.


Taken together, these laws would be a revolution in antitrust law, adapted for an era where Big Tech marketplaces, not railroads, are the dominant businesses of the day...