US lawmakers consider breaking up BigTech

The US House of Representatives antitrust report on BigTech monopolisation contains a “thinly veiled call to break up” the companies, according to Republican congressman Ken Buck.

A draft response seen by Reuters, and confirmed by his representatives, stated that he shared Democratic concerns about the power of Silicon Valley firms and their ability to make “killer acquisitions” eliminating rivals and guiding customers to their products.

However, he objected to a plan to require them to delineate a clear “single line of business”.

The antitrust subcommittee is expected to publish its report this week on Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google owner Alphabet.

It is not yet known how many Republicans will support the report, which is being led by Democratic chairman David Cicilline.

“The report offers a chilling look into how Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook have used their power to control how we see and understand the world,” Buck wrote.

He agreed with some of the report’s recommendations, such as making it easier for the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to stop mergers by lowering their burden of proof, as well as allowing consumers to take control of their data through data portability and interoperability between platforms.

“These potential changes need not be dramatic to be effective,” Buck wrote, adding that he was displeased that the report failed to address conservative allegations that some platforms have tried to stifle conservative voices.

In July, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google all appeared before members of the antitrust subcommittee, which had collected 1.3 million documents and conducted hundreds of hours of interviews as part of its investigation.

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