Bills set to be announced in the coming days would make it easier to break up giant tech companies, block them from merging and prohibit them from hobbling their rivals.
In this Oct. 20, 2015, file photo is signage outside Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. | (Marcio Jose Sanchez, File/AP Photo)
House Democrats are set to introduce a package of five bills as soon as this week that would prohibit tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google from discriminating against rivals or buying potential competitors, two individuals familiar with the discussions told POLITICO — the most serious effort yet to rein in Silicon Valley’s power after years of complaints from Congress.
The most controversial bill would let prosecutors sue to break up major tech companies by forcing the platforms to sell off lines of business if they represent a conflict of interest. POLITICO obtained drafts of all five bills.
The legislation aims to enact the recommendations from a blockbuster House Judiciary Committee report last fall on competition in digital markets, which found that the four tech giants have monopolized various aspects of the online economy. It also represents a major test for Congress: Can the lawmakers of both parties who have condemned the tech companies as abusive monopolists come together to do something about it?