How to restrict the power of technology companies? The U.S. parties have huge differences

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According to reports, Democrats in Congress have sent a clear message to Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google: You have monopoly power and are now at risk of being split.

After 16 months of investigations into these four technology giants, the Antitrust Panel of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee recently released a 449-page report detailing the reasons why each company has monopoly power. There are many suggestions on how to amend the laws and regulations to regulate these companies.

The report was intended to encourage the two parties to control the power of large technology companies work together, but as the two sides debated, the joint efforts of the evolution of the partisan struggle .

This result makes it hard for people to believe that any substantive regulations will come out in the near future. Four years have passed since parliamentarians began to review the disruptive role of the technology industry in industries ranging from media to retail. However, no regulations have been issued to regulate the technology industry.

The following are the key differences between the two parties:

Republican side

The Republican members of the subcommittee have always clung to the fact that social media platforms (such as Facebook and Google’s YouTube) discriminate against conservative views.

There is no evidence that social media intends to censor conservative voices. In fact, Facebook’s own data shows that posts by conservatives and news media are almost always the most popular content on Facebook. This issue has nothing to do with anti-monopoly laws.

Even so, they accused the Democratic majority of not mentioning this issue in the report.

Republicans also disagree with the Democrats’ suggestion that a comprehensive revision of the anti-monopoly law may eventually result in the split of some companies. It is reported that in the draft report of the subcommittee member and Republican Ken Buck (Ken Buck), he made it clear that Republicans in Congress will not vote for the comprehensive and breakthrough changes the Democrats expect .

Democratic side

The Democratic Party is more optimistic and believes that the legislation proposed in the report can be passed. Subcommittee representative Pramila Jayapal believes that within the first three to six months of the next Congress, there will be “major legislation” on this matter.

Based on more than 1 million internal documents and interviews with experts and competing companies, the Democratic Party presented strong evidence against the Big Four. The report found that Apple has a monopoly on software distribution on the iPhone; Amazon bullies third-party sellers; Facebook abuses its power to acquire or stifle potential competitors; and Google has complete dominance in the field of online search. (Each company strongly denies these allegations.)

Even if the Democrats failed to achieve the comprehensive antitrust reforms they wanted, at least they brought this lengthy written report, which documented the dubious strategies adopted by these companies to become dominant forces in the industry and the global economy. These shadows will follow every company for decades to come.

Common ground

Even if the two parties disagree on the details, they still generally believe that large technology companies have too much power in the market and the government needs to take more restrictive measures.

One possible starting point is to provide more funding to agencies such as the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to review technology mergers and monitor potential anti-competitive behavior. Each of the Big Four companies has seemingly inexhaustible funds to fight government lawsuits and investigations. Moreover, both parties agree that providing more funds to these institutions will help them launch a counterattack.


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