Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tom Cotton introduced the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021. The bill is a Senate companion to similar legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as part of its Antitrust Subcommittee’s A Stronger Online Economy package to address the gatekeeper power of Big Tech. The bill would block Big Tech firms from buying competitors, potential competitors, as well as using mergers to enhance their already sizable market power. Public Knowledge commends Senator Klobuchar on this next bipartisan tech competition bill, which follows her release of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act last month.
The following can be attributed to Charlotte Slaiman, Competition Policy Director at Public Knowledge:
“Right on the heels of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021 is another strong, bipartisan solution for addressing a piece of the Big Tech puzzle. Senators Klobuchar and Cotton should be applauded for this targeted bill to combat one of the major strategies Big Tech uses to entrench its dominance: mergers and acquisitions. With a bill like this in place, truly innovative ideas that are disruptive to the Big Tech status quo will have a chance to flourish. This bill is an important step towards a better internet for users and small businesses alike, free from Big Tech’s control.
“Coupled with nondiscrimination, interoperability, and structural separation, stricter limitations on mergers like those in the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act will be a powerful tool to diminish the power of Big Tech and open up the internet. We look forward to seeing additional companion legislation for the rest of the A Stronger Online Economy package introduced in the Senate as soon as possible, in particular the ACCESS Act and the Ending Platform Monopolies Act. Reining in Big Tech also requires comprehensive privacy legislation and of course, a new digital regulator that can build expertise in this specialized sector of the economy.”
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