US Senators float plan to block big tech mergers

US Senators float plan to block big tech mergers

08 NOV 2021
Senators

US Senators Amy Klobuchar (pictured) and Tom Cotton introduced a bipartisan bill designed to prevent tech giants like Meta and Amazon from buying their competitors, claiming the measure will reduce the market power of dominant digital platforms.

The bill is called the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act. Companion legislation has already been introduced in the House of Representatives.

“We’re increasingly seeing companies choose to buy their rivals rather than compete,” said Klobuchar, who is also a sponsor of the US Open Apps Market Act and the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, neither of which has become law.

Senator Cotton’s website states the newest legislation would only apply to dominant technology platforms with at least 50,000,000 U.S.-based monthly active users or 100,000 monthly active business users, and market capitalisation of at least $600 billion. The Senators plan to grandfather smaller companies, meaning enterprises that reached those metrics after the bill passed would not be impacted.

The Platform Competition and Opportunity Act would give regulators more authority to block acquisitions by platforms deemed “dominant” in their markets. Antitrust authorities would be able to forbid those companies from buying competitors or potential competitors, and would be able to block them from purchasing data that could strengthen or expand their dominance.

Klobuchar is also a sponsor of the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act, pending legislation which does not focus specifically on the technology sector, but seeks to increase budgets for the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and Federal Trade Commission.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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