Representative David Cicilline’s office said in a statement on Thursday that the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee had formally accepted a study accusing Big Tech corporations of purchasing or destroying smaller businesses.
The report was approved by a vote of 24-17, divided evenly between the two parties. The businesses have denied any wrongdoing on their part.
The report, which was first published in October and was the first such legislative study of the tech industry, recommended major reforms to antitrust law and detailed hundreds of instances where the firms were alleged to have abused their control.
“Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook all have monopoly control in key areas of our economy. In a tweet, Cicilline said, “This monopoly moment must come to an end.” “I’m excited to work on legislation that addresses the serious questions we’ve posed.”
The first bill has already been presented in the legislature. In March, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers led by Senators David Cicilline and Amy Klobuchar introduced legislation to make it easier for news organisations to bargain together with outlets such as Google and Facebook.
The Cicilline report, which had bipartisan roots, included a list of possible antitrust law amendments.
Republicans have chastised Big Tech firms for allegedly censoring conservative speech, citing the suspension or denial of former President Donald Trump’s links to the sites by Facebook and Twitter.
Despite their displeasure, most Republicans have not endorsed the report’s proposed antitrust amendments, preferring instead to debate stripping social media platforms of legal protections provided by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The legislation protects businesses from user-generated content on their websites.
The report’s recommendations ranged from the bold, such as eventually prohibiting corporations like Amazon from operating markets in which they operate, to the less contentious, such as increasing the budgets of the competition enforcement agencies, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission.
The study also urged Congress to give antitrust regulators greater leeway in preventing firms from buying potential competitors, which is currently difficult.