Sen. Hawley introduces law to break up Big Tech companies

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Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, nominee to be Attorney General, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)

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WASHINGTON, D.C.– U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) has introduced legislation he says will restore accountability and competition to Big Tech.

The bill is called Bust Up Big Tech Act and would try and break up Big Tech companies trying to dominate multiple industries at the same time.

The legislation would prevent companies like Amazon from owning Amazon Marketplace and selling its own Amazon products in that marketplace against other competitors.

The law would also empower the FTC to monitor compliance and strengthen enforcement.

The Bust Up Big Tech Act will:

  • Ban major companies in the business of offering search engines, marketplaces, and exchanges from competing with third-party vendors by selling, advertising, or promoting their own competing goods and services on their sites
    • Example: Amazon should not be able to own Amazon Marketplace and sell their own Amazon products on their marketplace against other competitors. 
  • Ban major companies in the business of offering search engines, marketplaces, and exchanges from expanding their power and creating anticompetitive conflicts of interest by providing online hosting and internet infrastructure services for third parties
    • Example: Amazon cannot continue to operate an overwhelmingly dominant retail business and simultaneously own an enormous share of the cloud computing technology upon which the internet itself is built.
  • Empower the Federal Trade Commission to hire sufficient staff to monitor compliance
  • Ensure the antitrust laws are actually enforced, by authorizing state attorneys general and private citizens to bring civil actions to ensure compliance

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