On Monday, June 7, the New York state Senate passed legislation making it easier for plaintiffs to win antimonopoly lawsuits, in the latest state-led effort to rein in large technology companies in the absence of action by Congress.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the bill was opposed by business groups and backed by unions and other critics of corporate giants such as Amazon and Alphabet’s Google. To become law, it must also pass the state assembly and be signed by the governor.
Monday’s 43-20 party line vote represented an incremental victory for advocates of tougher antitrust laws, who will seek to use it as a springboard to tougher laws in other states and at the federal level.
“We have a problem in this country. We have a problem that there is tremendous market power in very, very few hands,” said New York state Sen. Michael Gianaris, a Democrat and the bill’s lead sponsor, at a virtual press conference Monday. “Small startups and medium-sized businesses don’t have the opportunity to grow and innovate.”
Opponents of the bill claimed that it would lead to a torrent of class-action lawsuits.
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