Rep. David Cicilline would prohibit tech giants from running a platform and competing on it at the same time.
From Bloomberg’s “Key Lawmaker Vows to Loosen Big Tech’s ‘Deeply Disturbing’ Grip” posted Wednesday evening:
Representative David Cicilline, the Democrat leading a high-profile investigation into technology giants including Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. is poised to deliver recommendations as soon as next month that will take aim at the power of digital behemoths and could lead to the overhaul of antitrust laws.
Cicilline said in an interview Wednesday that his inquiry has confirmed that Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc., Amazon and Facebook are abusing their market power to crush competitors and that Congress must act urgently to rein them in to protect consumers.
“All of these companies engage in behavior which is deeply disturbing and requires Congress to take action,” said Cicilline, the chairman of the House antitrust panel. “The kind of common theme is the abuse of their market power to maintain their market dominance, to crush competitors, to exclude folks from their platform and to earn monopoly rents.”
One possibility is what he described as a Glass-Steagall law for technology platforms. That Depression-era law separated commercial and investment banking until it was repealed during the Clinton administration. For tech companies, it would mean prohibiting them from running a platform and competing on it at the same time.
Cue the video:
My take: Lobbyists, start your engines.