Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
Rep. Ken Buck (R-C), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX), Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO), Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
The “Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021” would prohibit a dominant platform from acquiring— directly or indirectly— competitors (present, potential, or nascent) or companies that would expand or entrench its market power, unless the dominant platform is able to provide “clear and convincing evidence” that the merger does not have the potential to restrict competition. Importantly, for the purpose of the bill “user’s attention” is considered a product that can be sold as any other product or service.
The bill also stipulates that any acquisition resulting in additional data in the hands of the acquirer may increase or maintain a platform’s market position.
In addition, the bill provides the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Justice (DOJ) and state attorneys general (AGs) with enforcement authority, and it directs the FTC and the DOJ’s Antitrust Division to issue joint guidance outlining policies related to enforcement of the Act within one year. It also creates a private right of action.
Learn more about how Big Tech’s unchecked market power harms our democracy.