Weekly News Highlights: 7/5/2021 – 7/11/2021
President Biden’s Executive Order Opens New Front in Battle With Big Tech
The Big Tech, which includes Amazon, Apple, and Google, "have been in the crosshairs of lawmakers or regulators for the power they wield over parts of their business" for years. These companies have been shown to have limited market competition and been the cause of the downfalls of many other businesses. Consequently, President Biden recently signed an executive order targeting these tech giants. The order does not serve as a hard mandate; instead, it acts as a road map that encourages U.S. agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, to crack down on tech companies that cause negative effects to the economy.
A principal aspect of the order includes encouraging the FTC to create new rules regarding companies gathering user data. Personal information and other user data is often crucial to companies' services and products, and the new rules soon to be established by the FTC may have a large impact on tech companies. Another important goal of the order is to monitor and restrict mergers that would reduce market competition. Large tech companies have merged with countless other companies, and by doing so they are able to expand their reach over the economy. The FTC and Justice Department have been working on updating the current merger guidelines to make more clear which mergers will be prohibited due to violating antitrust laws.
However, "developing rules to implement the executive order is likely to be a 'a long, contentious process that would ultimately end in litigation,' said Robert Kaminski of policy research firm Capital Alpha Partners." And combined with the pushback from the Big Tech and their supporters, it will not be easy.