U.S. House’s antitrust report hints at break-up of Big Tech firms: lawmaker

By Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives antitrust report on Big Tech firms contains a “thinly veiled call to break up” the companies, Republican Congressman Ken Buck said in a draft response seen by Reuters.

The House antitrust subcommittee is expected to publish its report this week on Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Google owner Alphabet Inc.

A Buck representative confirmed to Reuters the authenticity of the draft response, which was first reported by Politico.

In the draft, Buck said he shared Democratic concerns about the power of Big Tech firms, with their penchant for “killer acquisitions” to eliminate rivals and self-preferencing in guiding customers to their other products.

However, he objected to a plan to require them to delineate a clear “single line of business”. Social media platform Facebook also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, search engine provider Google’s businesses include YouTube and Android,

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GOP lawmaker: Democrats’ tech proposals will include ‘non-starters for conservatives’

Buck said he opposes not-yet-unveiled Democratic proposals aimed at “eliminating arbitration clauses and further opening companies up to class action lawsuits.” And he said he rejects antitrust subcommittee Chair David Cicilline’s (D-R.I.) idea of advancing legislation to force structural breakups of major online platforms like Amazon.

“We agree that antitrust enforcement agencies need additional resources and tools to provide proper oversight,” Buck wrote. “However, these potential changes need not be dramatic to be effective.”

The Republican recommendations mark the first major findings to surface out of the Judiciary Committee’s probe. Though the subcommittee’s final report has yet to be released, Democrats have floated sweeping changes such as legislation to force structural separations for tech platforms similar to Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law that split investment and retail banking.

In the memo, Buck wrote that the majority’s incoming report “offers a chilling look into how Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook have used

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