President Joe Biden took direct aim at tech companies during his second State of the Union address Tuesday evening.
Over the course of an hour, the president railed against Big Tech’s data collection practices, its use of targeting ads on young users and anti-competitive business practices. For all of those issues, Biden attempted to muster up bipartisan support from lawmakers in Congress to work across the aisle and pass legislation aimed at reining in tech firms.
Biden urged Congress to “pass bipartisan legislation to strengthen antitrust enforcement and prevent big online platforms from giving their own products an unfair advantage” during his Tuesday State of the Union address.
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His remarks mark a win for progressives who have been pushing for legislation to rein in the tech industry’s power for years.
“Pass the bipartisan legislation to strengthen antitrust enforcement and prevent big online platforms from giving their own products an unfair advantage,” Biden told lawmakers on Tuesday evening, referring to the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA). “Capitalism without competition is not capitalism,” he added. “It’s extortion. It’s exploitation.”
Biden’s renewed push comes after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last year effectively killed two bipartisan antitrust bills aimed at cracking down on platform monopolies. While saying he supported the measures and promising a vote on them for months, the New York Democrat never brought the package to the floor, even after the White House urged congressional leadership to send the bills to Biden’s desk during the lame duck session after the midterm elections.