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Sen. Josh Hawley Bill Would Presumptively Block 'Biggest' Tech Mergers

Screenshot of Josh Hawley
(Image credit: Future)

Amidst the widespread criticism, including on social media, for Sen. Josh Hawley's vote to object to the election certification and his fist pump of solidarity to Trump supporters outside the Capitol before the insurrection, the Missouri Republican continues to take aim at Big Tech.

He last week proposed an amendment to a budget bill last week that would prohibit the merger of some Big Tech companies by presumptively preventing any merger or acquisitions involving a "market-dominant online platform."

That would mean the dominant player would have to affirmatively show that a merger or purchase was not anticompetitive.

Also Read: FTC, DOJ Suspend Early Terminations of Merger Reviews

The two-page bill, which is essentially one paragraph, does not define market-dominant, but Amazon, Twitter and Google have all been in Hawley's sights and would almost certainly qualify.

Also Read: Klobuchar Introducing Big Tech Antitrust Bill

Hawley is certainly not alone in teeing up Big Tech-targeted legislation. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), about as far from Trump fan and ultra-conservative Hawley as one could get, also last week proposed to provide higher antitrust scrutiny for Big Tech mergers that previously would have come under the radar because the price or a merger or acquisition was too low 

Asked if she was looking to break up the companies or just prevent them from buying up, Klobuchar said she was looking for resources so the law was not being enforced with Band-Aids and duct tape

She said she did want to punish success, but she also said bad things were happening and there needed to be remedies and resources to address that.