US Senate Committee passes antitrust bill that would regulate Big Tech’s self-preferencing

US Senate Committee passes antitrust bill that would regulate Big Tech’s self-preferencing

After prolonged discussion and debate, the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Thursday passed the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” (S.2992) antitrust bill. This bill aims to regulate Big Tech and other large companies from leveraging their dominant positions in one sector to self-preference their other products and services from other sectors.

We’ve already reported on the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, and we recommend reading the summary of the provisions. In short, the Bill proposes to stop companies enjoying a near-monopoly situation from passing on unfair advantages to their other goods and services. The wording on the Bill is fairly broad as it seeks to stop a wide range of self-preferencing conduct. The Bill applies to companies with a market cap greater than $550 billion and more than 50 million monthly active users, although the FTC and the Justice Department would decide which tech platforms fall within that definition.

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The debate was held yesterday in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where an amended version of the Bill received a favorable 16-6 vote, paving the way for the Bill to move for voting onto the Senate floor. There are still some ways to go before, and if, the Bill becomes a law, but the vote on Thursday marked one of the major recent steps taken to reign in control that Big Tech has on the competition in the online space.

The amended version of the Bill addresses some industry concerns, namely including larger foreign-owned tech platforms operating in the US within its ambit, thereby addressing concerns that it would put US tech giants at a disadvantage in the country. There are also provisions added to clarify that privacy-enhancing conduct will be allowed, that subscription models will not be affected, and that the Covered Platforms will have a 1 year period to come into compliance.

It remains to be seen how the Bill evolves as it moves through the Senate floor. Concerns still remain with the Bill — like how it would remove the incentive for Big Tech to engage with third parties at all on their platforms.

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

A journalist at XDA-Developers and the current Editor in Chief, I have been writing for XDA since 2015, despite being a qualified business-litigation lawyer. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news and tutorials, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected] And my Twitter is @aamirsidd94.

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