Report: US House Could Break Up Big Tech firms

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The long-anticipated antitrust report from the U.S. House of Representatives on giant tech companies considers a call to break up the companies, according to a draft of the study.

“The report offers a chilling look into how Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook have used their power to control how we see and understand the world,” U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado) wrote in the report, Reuters reported. “This proposal is a thinly-veiled call to break up Big Tech firms. We do not agree with the majority’s approach.”

Reuters reported a spokesperson for Buck confirmed to the news outlet that the draft response was authentic.

This week, the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law is expected to release its report on Google owner Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc.

Reuters reports in the draft report, Buck said he shared Democratic concerns about the power of Big Tech firms, with their desire for “killer acquisitions” to eliminate competitors while guiding customers to their products.

Still, he rejected a plan that would mandate the firms have one line of business. For example, Facebook owns the WhatsApp and Instagram apps while Google’s divisions include YouTube and Android, and eCommerce mega company Amazon operates a cloud computing unit.

It is unclear how much support the report will have from the Republican members of the Democratic House Committee chaired by U.S. Rep.David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island).

In August, Cicilline said he is expected to deliver recommendations this fall in the investigation he’s leading into how Big Tech titans could be reined in when it comes to antitrust cases.

Cicilline said Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook have been abusing their power on the market to beat out smaller competitors. He said Congress must act.

“The kind of common theme is the abuse of their market power to maintain their market dominance, to crush competitors, to exclude folks from their platform and to earn monopoly rents,” he said.

Buck agreed with some of the report’s recommendations. For example, he supports a proposal that would make it easier for the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to prevent mergers by allowing consumers to control their data through portability between platforms.

“These potential changes need not be dramatic to be effective,” Buck wrote.

Buck also raised objections that the report failed to address allegations that some platforms have muzzled conservative voices.

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