On Friday, July 9, President Joe Biden will sign a new executive order aimed at combating anticompetitive behavior in Big Tech, besides a set of other fields such as healthcare, financial services, and agriculture.
The extensive order seeks to “promote competition in the American economy” via a slew of reforms in the job market, healthcare, consumer prices, agriculture, and transportation, but took a more direct aim at Big Tech firms for their anticompetitive practices, according to the White House Fact Sheet released on Friday morning of July 9.
The Biden administration specifically promises to tackle Big Tech’s current tactics in securing their competitive edge in the industry by asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to come up with new antitrust policies.
Such worrisome practices include attempts to merge with smaller brands with high competition potential and the worrisome practice of extracting and using private data from users to control their stand in the marketplace.
Allegedly, Big Tech firms have been trying to minimize the chance of future competitors by buying small companies with high prospects. A move more popularly known as “killer acquisitions.”
The sheet cited Amazon, which was a center of reprimand for exploiting information from third-party sellers to gather ideas for developing its own competing products.
Biden, in addition, will require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to set new guidelines for broadband internet providers and encourage the FCC to reinstate net neutrality principles.
“The impulse for this executive order is really around where can we encourage greater competition across the board,” White House chief economic advisor Brian Deese told CNBC News.
The White House’s strict move on Big Tech firms, as argued by Deese, was because their competition tricks have “created significant problems,” giving that they issued “problems for users in terms of privacy and security” and “problems for small businesses in terms of entering markets.”
According to Deese and also as stated in the Fact Sheet, Big Tech’s current approach in securing their market dominance impedes innovation.
Lawmakers from both parties recently have started to notice Big Tech companies, which usually indicate Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google, for their antitrust practices.
Around mid-June, the House Judiciary Committee voted to advance six antitrust bills. While the package somewhat intimidated the targeted companies, critics argued that it was not enough to crack down on the practices as it could carry unexpected consequences.
Google alone is now facing the fourth major antitrust lawsuit over the past year, which was filed by 36 state attorneys general in the U.S. this week. In 2020, it was challenged by three European governments, per CNBC.