POLITICO: House panel approves plan to help break up tech giants

June 24, 2021 Media

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee advanced its most aggressive proposal for restraining Silicon Valley’s behemoths Thursday, voting for a bill that would make it easier to break up companies like Facebook and Google.

The 3 p.m. vote on H.R. 3825 (117) — the Ending Platform Monopolies Act — came one day and five hours after the committee first began a marathon series of debates and votes on six bills targeting Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

The break-up bill was the most controversial part of the antitrust package, drawing opposition from four of the committee’s Democrats and only eking out approval on a 21-20 vote.

And while dozens of groups that supported the bills heralded their advance, the antimonopoly advocacy group American Economic Liberties Project, which had remained noticeably silent over the past three weeks since the package’s introduction, released a statement raising concerns about the package.

Sarah Miller, the group’s executive director, said the bills defer too much to the agencies, which don’t have that good a track record, and expressed concern that courts may read the legislation too narrowly.

“Addressing Big Tech’s abuses effectively as intended will require adjustments to the legislation,” Miller said.