/Amazon, Other Tech Giants Could Be Forced to Shed Assets Under House Bill – The Wall Street Journal

Amazon, Other Tech Giants Could Be Forced to Shed Assets Under House Bill – The Wall Street Journal


House lawmakers are preparing to propose bipartisan legislation that could require Amazon . com Inc. and other technology giants to effectively split into two companies or shed their private-label products, according to people familiar with the matter and documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The bill, which the people said could be announced Friday, could mandate structural separation of Amazon and other big technology companies that Congress spent 15 months investigating as part of an inquiry into the size and power of Big Tech. Another bill that also could be announced Friday targets the ability of big technology companies to leverage their online platforms to favor their own products over competitors.

Each of the bills has both Republicans and Democrats signed onto it, with more expected to join once they are announced, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Called the Ending Platform Monopolies Act, a draft of the proposed structural separation bill reviewed by the Journal says: “It shall be unlawful for a covered platform operator to own or control a line of business, other than the covered platform, when the covered platform’s ownership or control of that line of business gives rise to an irreconcilable conflict of interest.” That language could change in the bill’s final draft.

The proposed legislation would need to be passed by the Democratic-controlled House as well as the Senate, where it would likely also need substantial Republican support. While Republicans are concerned about technology companies’ power, many are skeptical about changing antitrust laws.

Original Source