President Joe Biden has signed an executive order aimed at cracking down on big tech firms and promoting competition.
The move points to Mr Biden’s desire for tougher scrutiny of Big Tech, which the administration has accused of “undermining competition”.
“Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. It’s exploitation,” Mr Biden said at Friday’s signing event.
The order includes 72 actions and recommendations involving ten agencies.
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Biden’s bid to take on big business sets off battle over who holds power in U.S. economy
President Biden signed an executive order on Friday taking aim at industries where certain companies dominate the market, kicking off a major new battle between the administration and corporate titans that could reshape aspects of the U.S. economy.
The executive order — which contains 72 initiatives — is striking in its scope and ambition, challenging the business practices of America’s enormous technology, health-care, agricultural and manufacturing firms while also aiming to shake up smaller sectors dominated by only a handful of companies, such as the hearing aid industry.
It encourages federal regulators to craft new rules on tech companies’ data collection and user surveillance practices, targeting the path that such giants as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon took to dominance. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
Biden wants to reduce broadband providers’ market control by restoring net neutrality rules that were dropped during the Trump administration and limiting their ability to cut exclusive deals with landlords.
The order also calls on the FTC to set new rules to combat “unfair competition” in online marketplaces. Critics have raised concerns about the dual role that tech companies like Amazon and Apple play as marketplace operators and participants within them, competing with smaller retailers or app developers. Congressional investigators in a report last year called out Amazon’s relationship with third-party sellers, accusing the company of exploiting its access to their data and information.
Let’s Make Google a Public Good by Dave Yost, Ohio’s attorney general.
American law recognizes that some critically important businesses must accept all customers and treat everyone fairly because they are not easily or economically efficient to duplicate — think railroads, electricity providers and telephone companies.
As Ohio’s attorney general, I went to court last month asking for a judicial declaration that Google has evolved into such an entity: a public utility of internet search.