US Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill Aimed At Big Tech

On Thursday, January 20, the US Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would bar tech giants like Amazon and Google from giving preference to their own businesses on their websites, reported Reuters. The biggest technology companies, including Facebook and Apple, have been under pressure in Congress because of allegations they abused their outsized market power. A long list of bills are aimed at reining them in, none of which have become law.

Lawmakers voted on an amended version of a bill introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, and Chuck Grassley, a Republican, that expanded the definition of companies covered by the bill to include firms like the popular video app TikTok and specified that companies were not required to share data with firms that the US government considers national security risks.

Related: Klobuchar, Grassley To Introduce Antitrust Bill Aiding Amazon Sellers

Klobuchar, chair of the panel’s antitrust panel, noted the deep-pocketed lobbying against the measure.

“We have a lot of support for this bill. We don’t have a lot of money to run TV ads in favor of it like those that oppose it, but we have a lot of support,” she said.

A second bill, led by US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn, was on the schedule but was held over. The Open App Markets Act would bar big app stores, like Apple, from requiring app providers to use their payment system and prohibit them from punishing apps that offer different prices through another app store or payment system.

Both bills have a version in the US House of Representatives.

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