American tech companies have been under fire in recent days because of bias perceptions against conservative lawmakers. In a rare moment of solidarity, Democratic representatives are also urging changes to organizations like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Alphabet (Google), and Twitter to prevent monopolies.
After 16 months of Congressional investigation into the issue, the official recommendation was that the firms had too much power, and it needed to be stopped to prevent future problems.
When the Democrats published their findings, the Republicans disagreed with the results. Congressman Jim Jordan said the report was partisan and advanced the proposals that would “refashion antitrust law in the vision of the far left.
That’s after a July hearing where Jordan said, “I’ll cut right to the chase. Big tech is out to get conservatives… That’s a fact.”
What Changes Are Being Recommended to Address the Issue?
The report covers 449 pages, authored by the committee staff. It accuses the companies of charging high fees, forcing small customers into unfavorable contracts, and using acquisitions to stop rivals.
Democrats recommend using a robust enforcement protocol for the existing competitive laws to resolve these issues. They also hope to limit the areas that Big Tech can start offering products or services. By taking these steps, the goal would be to prevent an organization from operating as players in the same industries where they offer infrastructure.
Amazon is a prime example of the threat that Democratic lawmakers see from this process. It acts as a seller by producing its own branded goods while offering a marketplace for other merchants to reach out to customers.
Although the report isn’t bi-partisan, some Republicans do support some of the report’s core ideas. The most popular recommendation is to shift the burden of proof for acquisitions to become more stringent to avoid having companies buy out the competition.
With both major parties at odds with Big Tech, it is only a matter of time until changes happen. This will surely go down as one of 2020’s biggest moments. Expect to see progress on this issue in 2021.