President Biden to sign a new Executive Order consisting of 72 actions this afternoon that are aimed at cracking down on Big Tech
Beyond antitrust legislation coming from Congress against the Big Tech like Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook, President Joe Biden later today will sign a new executive order aimed at cracking down on anticompetitive practices in Big Tech, labor and numerous other sectors.
The sweeping order, which includes 72 actions and recommendations that involve more than a dozen federal agencies, is intended to re-shape the thinking around corporate consolidation and antitrust laws, according to a White House fact sheet.
The Wide-Ranging Goals and Initiatives Include:
- Urging the Federal Trade Commission to “challenge prior bad mergers” that previous administrations let slide
- Pushing the FTC to ban occupational licensing restrictions, arguing they “impede economic mobility”
- Encouraging the FTC to ban or limit non-compete agreements
- Encouraging the Federal Communications Commission to restore “net neutrality” rules that were undone during the Trump administration
- Asking the FCC to block exclusivity deals between landlords and broadband providers
- Lowering prescription drug prices by supporting state and tribal efforts to import cheaper drugs from Canada
- Allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter
- Establishing a “White House Competition Council” to lead federal responses to large corporations’ growing economic power
White House chief economic advisor Brian Deese told CNBC’s Ylan Mui in an exclusive interview that aired earlier Friday morning that "The impulse for this executive order is really around where can we encourage greater competition across the board." Deese added that "The tech giants’ tightened grip has led to a decline in innovation."
Biden is set to sign the executive order at the White House at 1:30 p.m. ET, according to his schedule.
Through its tech-related actions, Biden’s order aims to make the case that the biggest companies in the sector are wielding their power to box out smaller competitors and exploit consumers’ personal information, CNBC's Mui said.
The order will call for regulators to enact a slew of reforms, including increasing their scrutiny of tech mergers and putting more focus on maneuvers such as "killer acquisitions," in which firms acquire smaller brands to take them out of the market.
But new FTC chair Lina Khan, a Biden appointee who at 32 became the youngest person ever to hold the role when she was sworn in last month, has already carved out a reputation as a vocal advocate for reforming and beefing up regulations on tech giants.
In fact, Amazon executives have already called for Khan to be recused from ongoing probes of its business, arguing she lacks impartiality and accuses her of repeatedly saying that the company is "guilty of antitrust violations and should be broken up." There's a lot more to this story on CNBC.