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U.S. House committee approves plan to rein in Big Tech
David Cicilline. Source: Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner/Bloomberg.
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  • The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has formally approved a report accusing Big Tech companies of either buying out or crushing smaller firms
  • It will now become a blueprint for legislation that would reel in the market dominance of companies like Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet's Google
  • The report was approved by a 24-17 vote that was split along party lines, despite the companies denying any wrongdoing
  • Republicans have been particularly vocal critics of Big Tech companies, claiming they have censored conservative speech
  • However, most have not backed the report, instead suggesting that companies should be stripped of their legal protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has formally approved a report accusing Big Tech companies of either buying out or crushing smaller firms.

According to a statement published by Representative David Cicilline's office on Thursday, the more than 400-page document will become an official committee report — the blueprint for legislation that would reel in the market dominance of companies like Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet's Google.

The report was approved by a 24–17 vote that was split along party lines, despite the companies denying any wrongdoing.

First floated in October last year, the report suggested extensive changes to antitrust laws and outlined dozens of instances where it said the companies had misused their power.

"Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook each hold monopoly power over significant sectors of our economy. This monopoly moment must end," Cicilline said.

"I look forward to crafting legislation that addresses the significant concerns we have raised."

In March, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Cicilline and Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced legislation aimed at making it easier for news organisations to negotiate collaboratively with tech platforms like Facebook and Google.

It follows a broader bill introduced to the Senate by Klobuchar in February, which aims to strengthen antitrust enforcers' ability to prevent mergers by lowering the bar for stopping deals and giving them more money for legal battles.

Republicans have been particularly vocal critics of Big Tech companies, claiming thwy have censored conservative speech.

However, most Republicans have not backed the report's proposed changes to antitrust law, instead suggesting that social media companies should be stripped of their legal protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives them immunity from content posted on their sites by their users.

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