House Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline: "Amazon, Apple, Google & Facebook each hold monopoly power over significant sectors of our economy"
In October 2020 Patently Apple posted a report titled "The 450 Page Democratic Congressional Staff Report Found that Apple Wields Monopoly Power Regarding their App Store." Our report noted that "Representative David Cicilline, the Democrat leading the high-profile investigation into technology giants, had given the press the heads-up that the coming report was going to be brutal and that the tech companies that we all cheer on to some degree were likely to get punished in several ways."
Today, it's being reported by Reuters that Representative David Cicilline’s office said in a statement that "The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee formally approved a report accusing Big Tech companies of buying or crushing smaller firms.
With the approval during a marathon, partisan hearing, the more than 400-page staff report will become an official committee report, and the blueprint for legislation to rein in the market power of the likes of Alphabet Inc's Google, Apple, Amazon and Facetime.
The report was approved by a 24-17 vote that split along party lines. The companies have denied any wrongdoing.
Cicilline said in a statement: "Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook each hold monopoly power over significant sectors of our economy. This monopoly moment must end. I look forward to crafting legislation that addresses the significant concerns we have raised."
The first bill has already been introduced. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers led by Cicilline and Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced legislation in March aimed at making it easier for news organizations to negotiate collectively with platforms like Google and Facebook.
Also in the Senate, Klobuchar introduced a broader bill in February to strengthen antitrust enforcers’ ability to stop mergers by lowering the bar for stopping deals and giving them more money for legal fights.
Republicans have criticized Big Tech companies for allegedly censoring conservative speech, pointing to Facebook's and Twitter's freezing or banning former President Donald Trump's access to the platforms.
Despite their ire, most Republicans have not backed the report's proposed changes in antitrust law but instead discussed stripping social media companies of legal protections they are accorded under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law gives companies immunity over content posted on their sites by users. For more on this, read the full Reuters report.