Amazon, Other Tech Giants Could Be Forced to Shed Assets Under House Bill
By Dana Mattioli and Ryan Tracy
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 technology giants
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 tech companies to
leverage their online platforms to favor their own products over
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 tech companies' power, many are skeptical about
changing antitrust laws.
The proposed bills are among five bills under consideration that
aim to curb the dominance of tech giants including Apple Inc.,
Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google in addition to Amazon. The
other bills target issues such as data portability and the ability
of large companies to conduct acquisitions that pose a competitive
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 11, 2021 11:09 ET (15:09 GMT)
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