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House Democrats say Big Tech must be reined in

07.10.20, 03:11

Democratic lawmakers are calling for the U.S. to rein in the power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, as well as overhauling U.S. antitrust law, in a sweeping report on the the dominance of Big Tech.

The 450-page Big tech CEOs testify before Congress 01:25

The lawmakers also call for the platforms to be required to offer equal terms for equal products and services for all users. That would prevent companies from favoring their own products on platforms they run, as Amazon has been accused of doing in its marketplace, and Google has been accused of doing in search.

The report proposes changing antitrust laws to impose a higher bar on the approval of tech industry mergers and acquisitions. Finally, it proposes doing away with so-called mandatory arbitration clauses in tech companies' terms of service. These clauses have proliferated in recent years and prevent users from going to court or joining class-action lawsuits if they have a dispute, instead requiring them to resolve disputes individually in private arbitration proceedings.

Although the 15-month investigation was bipartisan, Republican members of the antitrust committee dissented from most of the panel's recommendations. Republican members issued a competing report that disagreed with the suggestions to break up large technology companies. 

The GOP report alleged that Google and Facebook censored conservative content and decried the Democrats for declining to look into Twitter, which has also been accused of having an anticonservative bias.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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