US: Democrat plans antitrust bill to regulate tech giants

According to a report from Bloomberg, the lead House Democrat on antitrust issues, Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, said that he plans to craft legislation aimed at reining in tech giants.

The measure will aim to ensure that online firms with “significant market power” aren’t allowed to discriminate against competitors, Cicilline said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing examining Google’s practices. He said he plans to work with the Federal Trade Commission to develop the proposal.

“I strongly support an open, decentralized internet that is free of powerful gate keepers with the ability to discriminate against rivals, threaten innovation, or harm consumers,” said Cicilline, who serves as ranking member of the panel’s antitrust subcommittee. He’s poised to become subcommittee chairman in the next Congress.

Cicilline said he was “deeply concerned” by reports that Google has abused its dominant position in the online search market.

The European Commission last year fined Google US$2.7 billion for allegedly giving its comparison site prominent placement in search results over rival comparison sites.

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