February 7, 2023
Department of Justice Voices Support for Antitrust Bill Targeting Apple, Google, Amazon

Department of Justice Voices Support for Antitrust Bill Targeting Apple, Google, Amazon

Posted March 29, 2022 at 3:46pm by iClarified · 2578 views
The Department of Justice has put its weight behind an antitrust bill targeting Apple, Google, and Amazon, reports the WSJ. The legislation would prevent large digital platforms from favoring their own products over competitors'.

In a letter to bipartisan leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the DOJ says "The Department views the rise of dominant platforms as presenting a threat to open markets and competition, with risks for consumers, businesses, innovation, resiliency, global competitiveness, and our democracy."

The letter, obtained by the WSJ, expresses support for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, as well as similar legislation moving through the House. The American Innovation and Choice Online Act was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in January. The committee also voted to pass the Open App Markets Act in February which is spearheaded by Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). That act has support from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the ranking member on the antitrust subcommittee who voted against advancing the broader American Innovation and Choice Online Act.

The DOJ warns that dominant platforms have unchecked power to influence the fate of other businesses. Restricting a platform's conduct would offer significant benefits.

“Discriminatory conduct by dominant platforms can sap the rewards from other innovators and entrepreneurs, reducing the incentives for entrepreneurship and innovation,” the letter says. “Even more importantly, the legislation may support the growth of new tech businesses adjacent to the platforms, which may ultimately pose a critically needed competitive check to the covered platforms themselves.”

The Department of Justice says a bill clarifying what conduct Congress views as anticompetitive and illegal "would enhance the ability of the DOJ and [the Federal Trade Commission] to challenge that conduct."

Legislation with similar goals is near final approval in the EU. The European Council and the Parliament have already announced a provisional political agreement on the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which will force Apple to allow sideloading, third party payment systems, and make iMessage interoperable.

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Department of Justice Voices Support for Antitrust Bill Targeting Apple, Google, Amazon
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