Author: The Mount Royal Montreal Group 夏星湖
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Texas) introduced legislation Monday to target big tech companies, including Amazon and Google, to make it more difficult to market and use certain online services, The Hill reported April 19.
The Crackdown on Big Tech Act would prohibit technology companies that market search engines, marketplaces and exchanges from advertising or selling their products and services on their websites in a way that competes with third-party groups. It would also prohibit these companies from providing Internet infrastructure and online hosting to other companies, including a ban on Amazon offering cloud computing services through Amazon Web Services.
The legislation would authorize the Federal Trade Commission to monitor compliance, and the bill gives attorneys general and individuals the right to bring civil suits against these companies if they fail to comply.
Hawley said Monday, “Big tech companies like Google and Amazon have been coddled by Washington politicians for years, a treatment that has allowed them to amass enormous power to censor political views they disagree with and exclude competitors who offer alternative solutions to consumers.” “It’s time to take down Big Tech, restore competition and put the power back in the hands of the American consumer,” he added.
Hawley is the sole initiator in the Senate, with no corresponding legislation in the House. The legislation follows Hawley’s introduction last week of separate legislation targeting antitrust issues for large technology companies.
The Twenty-First Century Trust Disruption Act would prohibit all mergers and acquisitions by companies with a market capitalization of more than $100 billion, making it more difficult for large tech companies like Google or Facebook to acquire and merge with other tech groups.
In recent years, lawmakers in both parties have increasingly considered breaking up large tech companies. The House Judiciary Committee last week approved a bipartisan split report detailing how Google parents Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook allegedly abused their market power.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee will hold a hearing later this week to examine competition in app stores, and Apple and Google promised last week to send witnesses to testify.
We’ve seen the “power” of these big tech companies, such as Twitter and Facebook, banning political views different from their own, including former President Trump, and Amazon shutting down Talk servers outright. No dissenting speech is allowed. The unlimited power of these big tech companies must be regulated, otherwise free speech is just a nice wish in reality.