Saturday, October 16, 2021

Group of 30 US state attorneys general urges lawmakers to toughen antitrust laws

A bipartisan group of 30 US state attorneys general has come together and urge lawmakers to pass a slew of bills that tighten antitrust laws aimed at Big Tech companies.

In a letter sent to the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives (PDF), the group urged them to continue reforming antitrust laws through a series of six bills passed by the House Judiciary Committee in June.

These include the Ending Platform Monopoly Act, the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act, the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enable Service Switching (“Access”) Act, the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, and the State Antitrust Act. Enforcement Site Act.

Four bills directly address Big Tech’s platform strengths while two others empower enforcers.

The attorney general also recommended adding “provisions that would protect consumers from illegal and irresponsible mergers and business practices, and facilitate competition and innovation.”

“As the state attorney general, we strongly support Congress’s efforts to modernize federal antitrust laws. As antitrust bills move beyond the House Committee on the Judiciary for consideration by the entire House of Representatives and, ultimately, the Senate. “We encourage Congress to continue to reform these important measures,” the attorney general wrote.

“These include provisions to further enhance consumer protection from illegal and irresponsible mergers and business practices, as well as reforms necessary to ensure competition and innovation.”

In addition, the group urged Congress to include a provision in the law that affirms that states “are sovereigns who stand on an equal footing with federal enforcers under federal law, including at times of challenging anti-merger and other practices.” in connection with.”

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The group said it would happily discuss with Congress where it could make suggestions to address “significant considerations” and improve any of the proposed laws.

On the letter are Attorney General Phil Weiser of Colorado, Douglas Peterson of Nebraska, Letitia James of New York and Herbert H. of Tennessee. Slattery III was signed. They were joined by California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, and North Dakota. , Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The full House has not voted on the full package of antitrust measures, but if they are signed into law they would be the largest extension of US antitrust powers in generations.

However, 12 former top national security officials, including former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates, have urged Congress to put a hold on the bills, arguing that only imposing severe sanctions on the US giant would give China an edge. can be found. Gaining dominance in the tech landscape, Axios pointed out.

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Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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