Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, formerly the state's attorney general, plans to introduce a bill Monday that would "bust up" big technology companies like Amazon and Google that run an online marketplace and sell their own goods on the marketplace.
For example, Google could not promote its own reviews above Yelp reviews in search or on other platforms it owns without disclosing the affiliation up front.
Last week, the Senator introduced the Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act, which would make substantial changes to antitrust laws by banning all acquisitions by companies with a market cap above $100 billion.
It also changes the standard used by antitrust regulators when considering whether a company's actions are anticompetitive, according to reports.
The bill, for example, would prevent companies like Facebook that have dominance in social networking from acquiring startups seeking to build new social media platforms.
An extension of the bill the senator plans to reveal today would prevent companies that own an online marketplaces or search engines from also owning online hosting services.
For example, Amazon would no longer have the ability to host cloud-computing services through Amazon Web Services and provide infrastructure to provide a marketplace to sell goods.
“Woke Big Tech companies like Google and Amazon have been coddled by Washington politicians for years,” Hawley said in a statement Monday. “This treatment has allowed them to amass colossal amounts of power that they use to censor political opinions they don’t agree with and shut out competitors who offer consumers an alternative to the status quo.”
The idea is to reform the Sherman and Clayton Acts to clarify that direct evidence of anticompetitive conduct is sufficient to support an antitrust claim that would allow enforcers to pursue the breakup of dominant firms and prevent antitrust cases from devolving into battles between economists, according to the Senator’s website.
Senator Hawley is the only sponsor, and there is no companion legislation in the House, reports The Hill.