Senate Judiciary Committee Will Debate Antitrust Bill This Week

On Thursday, January 13, the Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up a proposal to limit tech giants from prioritizing their own goods over rival products, signaling momentum for proponents of revamping antitrust laws in the new year, reported The Hill.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act has bipartisan support, co-sponsored by Antitrust Subcommittee Chair Amy Klobuchar (Democrat – Minnesota) and Judiciary Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (Republican – Iowa).

Senators in support of the proposal say it would mitigate concerns critics have raised that tech giants, such as Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook, have engaged in discriminatory behavior by preferencing their own goods and disadvantaging their rivals.

“For too long, tech giants have used their power to suppress their rivals, unfairly put their products first in their marketplaces, and force sellers on their platforms to buy more services from them in exchange for better placement on their site. This has hurt both small businesses and consumers,” Klobuchar said in a statement Monday announcing Thursday’s markup. “A broad, bipartisan group of our colleagues agree and have signed on to our legislation to implement common sense rules of the road for these platforms.”

The proposal is also co-sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (Republican – South Carolina), Richard Blumenthal (Democrat – Connecticut), John Kennedy (Republican – Louisiana), Cory Booker (Democrat – New Jersey), Cynthia Lummis (Republican – Wyoming), Mazie Hirono (Democrat – Hawaii), Mark Warner (Democrat – Virginia), Josh Hawley (Republican – Missouri) and Steve Daines (Republican – Montana).

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