Rear Two years Investigation and 30-hour House Debate, U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Vote on thursday Pass a comprehensive six bills designed to jointly rule the huge market power of large technology companies.
Even if ever Recent bipartisan push For a major technical blow, this week’s marathon debate revealed some Severe crack Between the two parties-even within Two parties-this may hinder the hope of passing the bill into law.Some Republican representatives, such as Jim Jordan from Ohio, openly Railed Oppose measures as a set of “Democratic Bills”, namely Too radical Passed the convocation among his fellow Republicans.At the same time, some Democrats Express concern Regarding some of the data privacy implications of the bill.On both sides Voice care The wording of the bill is too broad, and it may also bring some unexpected consequences to small technology companies. Of course, California lawmakers also have a bipartisan consensus that these bills are detrimental to their donors and voters.
Despite these concerns, the support of both sides of the committee has caused all six bipartisan bills to face future votes in the House of Representatives.There is no doubt that this means we will hear Louder lobbying From major technology companies, More debate From relevant regulatory agencies, and more… Jim Jordan From Jim Jordan.
Here is the information you need to know about each bill so that you can understand the good, the bad, and Jims:
U.S. Choice and Innovation Online Act
First Up is U.S. Choice and Innovation Online Act This was co-sponsored by the Chairman of the Antitrust Subcommittee David Cicillin and Republican Representative Lance Gooden from Texas. In short, the bill aims to prohibit large technology companies from choosing their products in preference to competitors using their platforms.This will target Amazon that has been caught many Times From its roughly sneaky products 100 private labels To the top of the Amazon search results, while gather information Third-party sellers first create these private labels.
It would also put the spotlight on Google’s strangle Digital advertising market currently under investigation Multiple state AG In the U.S. and Antitrust Regulatory Agency In the European Union.If the bill is passed in its current form, Google will need to adjust its search results so that Google’s own products will not occupy the top positions like them. Sometimes do now. The next time you use Google Search to plan a holiday, you will not be attacked by ads from Google Flights and Google Hotels. According to this bill, ads from companies such as Expedia or United Airlines will have an equal opportunity to share these top ad spots. .
Most importantly, the bill prohibits these big platforms from using non-public data to support their own platforms-what is Amazon Caught doing Use the data it collects from third-party sellers. According to the bill, companies found to be ignoring this rule will be required to pay fines up to 15% or 30% of their total US revenue.If the bill becomes law, the Federal Trade Commission will create a Digital Market Agency Specially responsible for the implementation of the bill.
Platform Competition and Opportunity Act
After that Platform Competition and Opportunity Act This was co-sponsored by Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Republican Rep. Ken Barker. The bill will ban any platform with “at least 50,000,000 monthly active users in the United States”, such as Facebook and Google.Apple or Amazon-hold more than a quarter of the stock or profits of competitors; may prevent these players from moving May take over one competitor complete. Especially Facebook, which has long committed Copy, obtain or kill completely Competitive applications that use these strategies (and others) to maintain their strong control over the social media market.
Last December, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission launched a Formal wear It filed its own lawsuits regarding its acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. defendant Companies that systematically acquire competitors to suppress competition. Hope the passage of the bill will prevent companies from doing the same to smaller competitors (*cough* Douyin *Cough*) in the future.
Termination of Platform Monopoly Law
The third bill is the most controversial, only passed 21-20 votes After hours of debate: Termination of Platform Monopoly Law This was supported by representatives Pramila Jayapar and Lance Guden.In short, this bill will make dominant platforms (such as Amazon or Apple) illegal Create your own business lines to stifle “new or potential competition” from competitors using its platform. This means that Amazon may be forced to stop selling its own brands on its platform, and Apple may be forced to spin off Certain applications Pre-installed in people’s iPhones, such as Pages, Keynote and Numbers.
Some people believe that the bill will also strongly support Apple’s complete divestiture of its App Store business.Our shop has Bang Anti-competitive claims against Apple’s mandatory reduction of all in-app purchases, and in fact this is The only choice For those who wish to download the app to their iOS device—— Most popular The mobile operating system is in the United States.
All of these sound like very good things-so where does the controversy come from?Well, some legal experts have debate The bill will actually eventually consolidate technology giants and prevent them from competing with each other. For example, according to this bill, Apple cannot develop a search engine that competes with Google, and Google will have to sell YouTube, Make it harder for that video company competition With Netflix. In other words, this bill will hinder tech giants in some ways, but it will give them a Great helper In other.
At the same time, other critics pointed out that the current iteration of the bill is Too broad Really useful. In short, the bill allows the FTC to decide which companies these companies should be forced to spin off, and it does not provide any guidance on how to draw the line. Should Apple spin off the app store, or spin off all of its iOS software? What about Apple Watch or any other type of hardware?Without those lines drawn in the sand, the critics SayWhen this bill is actually implemented, the FTC will be in trouble.
Enhancing compatibility and competitiveness by enabling the service exchange method
After that Enhancing compatibility and competitiveness by enabling the Service Exchange Act——Also known as the ACCESS bill, it was co-sponsored by members of the House of Representatives Mary Scanlon and Burgess Owens. The main goal of the bill is to provide greater transparency to people who use platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, and to control the final location of their personal data. According to the bill, if a user chooses to leave the platform, a certain scale of the platform is required to allow users to carry some (or even all) of their data with them, while still being able to actually chat with friends and family members and sign in to those who use these services. If users want, they can also request to move their data to another platform. For example, if someone wants Exit Facebook And take away all their data. According to this bill, Facebook will need to find a way for the person to still chat with their family through Messenger No Reactivate their account.In other words, the bill is not perfect And did not say whether Facebook can continue Data collection Through this new channel same as before.
Defects aside, the bill still wins praise From the Electronic Frontier Foundation, That’s called The ACCESS Act is an important step towards “breaking the control of our data by large technology companies.” But these data are not without risks.As EFF and others have pointed out, freer data flow between companies will introduce new risks in design; companies can Exploit vulnerabilities In potential laws, extract more data from our data than they do already doneThis means that legislators will need to be cautious about future price increases of the bill to ensure that it is as sealed as possible.
State Antitrust Enforcement Site Act
The fifth place on the list is State Antitrust Enforcement Site Act This was led by Representative Ken Buck of Colorado. The bill aims to prevent technology giants from transferring antitrust litigation to courts that may be considered more company-friendly, thereby pushing up litigation costs.For example, Google keeps test (with failure) To transfer its large-scale litigation with Texas Corporation to its home court in California-this move will only become a reality Slower Go to trial. If this bill becomes law, Google will not even be able to propose such a move from the beginning.
Combined Application Fee Modernization Act
Finally, we have Consolidated Filing Fee Modernization Act This was initiated by Congressmen Joe Neguse and Victoria Spartz to provide more resources for the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission so that they can implement antitrust laws well. The bill will set aside US$670 million for the antitrust departments of the two companies and will significantly increase the fees paid by large companies such as Facebook and Google for large transactions (such as mergers).
Put things in context: Currently, if a transaction between two large companies involves about $920 million or more in changing hands, they need to pay a total of $280,000 to the FTC to do so. According to the proposed bill, FTC fees will be increased to Anywhere in between A transaction of US$1 billion to US$2 billion is US$400,000, a transaction of US$2 billion to US$5 billion is US$800,000, and transactions of US$5 billion and above are US$2.25 million.
Although the passage of these six bills is a small victory in Congress’s ongoing struggle with technology giants, this struggle will not end…for a while; there are (many) Lobby Counterattack and so on Political infighting Sit. Needless to say, if these bills end up in law books, when they get there, they might look very, very different.