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US House passes minor Big Tech antitrust bill

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The US House of Representatives has approved a relatively weak legislation targeting Big Tech’s dominance. The legislation increases funding to federal regulators and allows state governments to choose where to file lawsuits against these companies.

The bipartisan legislation, which passed by a 242-184 vote, is significantly weaker compared to a more ambitious antitrust legislation that has been in consideration for months, allowing Big Tech companies time to lobby against it.

We obtained a copy of the bill for you here.

The broader antitrust legislation would prevent Big Tech companies from preferencing their own products and services over competitors on their platforms. It could also result in separating a company’s dominant platform from its other businesses.

But the bill faced opposition across the political spectrum. With the midterm elections approaching, legislators decided to extract the not-so controversial provisions in the antitrust bill and put them in the new bill that passed the House.

The bill that was approved by the House will give states the power to choose the location of courts while filing federal lawsuits. There have been allegations that Big Tech companies have the “home-court advantage” in the federal court in Northern California, where most of them are located.

The new bill also increases the fees paid to federal agencies for proposed mergers worth over $500,000 and reduces the fees for medium-sized and small mergers. The idea is to increase the funding of regulators.

Additionally, companies seeking approval for mergers would have to reveal subsidies they have received from foreign adversaries like China.

The new bill still faced opposition from Republicans, many taking issue with the increased funding to the Federal Trade Commission, which has been accused of overreach under the Biden administration.

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