New York lawmakers have introduced a new antitrust bill that will make it simpler for authorities to sue big tech companies for alleged breaches of monopoly powers.
The sultrily-named S8700A bill is seen as a lodestar for states across the US, which have become increasingly worried about tech firms’ influence to manipulate their markets. Senator Mike Gianaris told The Guardian that leading tech brands have “grown to dangerous levels and we need to start reining them in.”
Gianaris says the new law is an update for the 21st century, during which the so-called GAFA companies—Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple—have amassed huge wealth and the power to drown other firms out of their respective verticals.
Previous antitrust legislation required two companies to fix prices. Actions by single entities are far tougher to prosecute. “Much of the problem today in the 21st century is unilateral action by some of these behemoth tech companies and this bill would allow, for the first time, New York to engage in antitrust enforcement for unilateral action,” said Gianaris.
S8700A will be discussed when New York returns to work later this month, but is unlikely to pass until early next year. It follows a crescendoing national conversation about the power of big tech. Last week a House committee interrogated the leaders of the GAFA firms.
Among the many accusations leveled at Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and co. was one that they are “killing” the American economy. Admissions by the leaders spurred Gianaris and fellow lawmakers into action.