The antitrust overhaul package revealed in Congress targeting Big Tech if enacted. It could have far-reaching effects on how individuals use the internet. It will also have an impact on America’s biggest and most successful firms.
The five bills could pave the way for a reorganization or breakup of titans, including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, while reshaping the entire internet ecosystem. The measures would ban tech titans from operating a platform for third parties while offering competing services on those platforms, affecting the likes of Apple and Amazon.
Additionally, lawmakers seek to stop tech firms from prioritizing their products or services, with Google clearly in mind. Another measure would require data portability and interoperability. It could make it easier for individuals to quit Facebook while keeping their data and contacts.
Meanwhile, tech giants also wouldn’t be able to acquire competitors under the package. This move would also add funds for antitrust enforcement.
According to Fiona Scott Morton, a Yale University professor and former U.S. official, the legislation stems from the failure of antitrust enforcement in the U.S. and elsewhere to make a dent in the dominance of leading technology firms. She added that if the bills are enacted, Apple might have to sell or shut down its music service. This way it wouldn’t discriminate against rivals such as Spotify.
Morton added that an interoperability requirement would be very profound for consumers. It would allow people to join social networks other than Facebook and Instagram and stay in contact with their friends.
These Laws Also Could Bring an End to Some Very Popular Products
The package comes amid signs of a more aggressive posture by Washington against dominant tech firms, including President Joe Biden’s nomination of Lina Khan to head the Federal Trade Commission. Remarkably, the FTC is one of the agencies charged with antitrust enforcement.
Following a 16-month investigation, the measures concluded that tech giants were abusing their dominant positions and had too much power in the economy.
Christopher Sagers, a Cleveland State University professor specializing in antitrust law, announced the package represents a radical approach to dealing with tech companies’ growing power.
He added that these laws also could bring an end to some very popular products.
Iain Murray, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, made an announcement. He said that the measure might mean a firm such as Apple would need to shut its App Store. This would result in Apple shipping blank phones without any apps or spin-off its phone division.
According to Murray, the average consumer will see her user experience severely degraded for the most part.