Five new bills aim to break up Big Tech platforms, force them to play nice

The dome of the United State Capitol Building against a deep blue sky in Washington, DC.

Enlarge / The dome of the United State Capitol Building in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Phil Roeder)

Legislators in the US House of Representatives introduced five new bills Friday afternoon that promise the biggest overhaul of antitrust law since the trust-busting era of the early 1900s. 

The bills take aim at the many platforms that Big Tech companies have rolled out over the last decade or so, including Apple’s iOS, Google’s search and ad platforms, Amazon’s marketplace, and Facebook’s social media and messaging networks. The proposed legislation would usher in sweeping changes both in the way monopoly regulations are enforced and in how companies run their platforms. They would require divestments in some cases while mandating interoperability and portability in others. 

“Right now, unregulated tech monopolies have too much power over our economy,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), who introduced one of the bills. “They are in a unique position to pick winners and losers, destroy small businesses, raise prices on consumers, and put folks out of work. Our agenda will level the playing field and ensure the wealthiest, most powerful tech monopolies play by the same rules as the rest of us.”

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