The Justice Department is backed antitrust legislation that would bar Big Tech platforms such as Amazon and Google from favoring their own services and products over those of competitors’.
The move was announced Monday and is the first by the Biden administration in dealing with the challenges of Big Tech.
According to a letter obtained by The Wall Street Journal, 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 is addressed to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee and is signed by the department’s acting assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, Peter Hyun. It also signals support for the Senate’s American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which the committee passed in January, and similar legislation moving through the lower chamber.
The parent companies of Amazon, Google, Apple and the like opposed to the bill, saying that it will make it more difficult to offer popular services. Others argue that it is a fair market practice for companies to benefit from the popularity of their creations.
The Justice Department, on the other hand, argues that the dominant position of the platforms allots them a degree of unregulated power, specifically power that translates into control over the success of other businesses. Ultimately, the department believes that restricting some elements of Big Tech will carry significant market benefits.
“Discriminatory conduct by dominant platforms can sap the rewards from other innovators and entrepreneurs, reducing the incentives for entrepreneurship and innovation,” reads the letter.