House Republicans take their turn laying out their antitrust agenda against Apple, Facebook and others
In late June Patently Apple posted a report titled "The U.S. House of Representatives is working to introduce Five Antitrust Bills in the next week that will Squarely affect Apple and its App Store." Now the Republicans want in on extending antitrust legislature according to a new report by CNBC.
House Judiciary Committee Republicans, led by ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, laid out their framework for regulating Big Tech companies on Wednesday.
The document is meant as a road map for new legislation aimed at Big Tech power, according to a Republican aide. The proposals, if passed, could have significant impact on large platforms including Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.
The framework comes just weeks after the committee voted to advance six bipartisan antitrust bills after more than 20 hours of debate. The markup session revealed that members in both parties have doubts about the effectiveness and the potential side effects of the bills. While the bills advanced with bipartisan support, they will not make it to a floor vote anytime soon. Once they do, they could look much different.
Any new proposed legislation from Republicans could face an uphill battle, especially if it includes politically touchy issues such as alleged censorship of conservative voices on social media. But it could also reveal areas of overlap between even the most skeptical Republicans on the committee and Democrats pushing for antitrust reform.
The Agenda is broken into three parts: Speed, Accountability and Transparency
The first, speed, is the most likely of the three to gain bipartisan support. For example, one item in this category seems to follow the same line of thought as an existing antitrust bill passed by the committee last month. The bill would give state attorneys general more say over where their antitrust cases can be heard. The Republican agenda released Wednesday calls for empowering state AGs, specifically by giving them the ability to fast-track cases.
The agenda more broadly calls for implementing ways to speed up antitrust cases against the Big Tech companies by expediting their consideration by trial courts and allowing for a direct appeal to the Supreme Court. Those proposals could potentially see some bipartisan backing as well, given Democrats’ past complaints that the judicial system lags far behind the ever-changing tech sector. For more on this regarding accountability and transparency, read the full CNBC report.