CNBC’s Julia Boorstin takes a look at a series of new bills being proposed on Capitol Hill aimed at taking on Big Tech. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for access to investor and analyst insights on tech and more:
A group of House Democrats is circulating discussion drafts of antitrust bills that would force the biggest tech companies to change parts of their business models and curtail large acquisitions, according to copies obtained by CNBC.
While the drafts could still change significantly prior to their introduction, as currently written, they could require business model overhauls for Apple and Amazon by limiting their ability to operate marketplaces for products and apps while selling their own goods and apps on those same stores.
The bills would also make it harder for those companies plus Facebook and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) to complete large mergers, and would force them to make it easier for users to leave their platforms with their data intact. CNBC couldn’t immediately learn when the drafts will be introduced.
The draft bills come after a 16-month investigation by the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust into the four companies, which culminated in a nearly 450-page report from Democratic staff last fall. While Republicans on the subcommittee diverged from some of the Democrats’ more extreme proposals, several agreed with the main findings of monopoly power and anticompetitive behavior in the Democratic report and on the need to rein in Big Tech’s power with antitrust reform.
The drafts don’t indicate whether any Republicans are supporting the bills.
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