The Senate Judiciary Committee has moved its scheduled markup of a tough new online antitrust bill from Thursday (Jan. 13) to Jan. 27.
The bill, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, was introduced back in October by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), chair of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee and a self-described leading antitrust reformer, and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member. It‘s one of many proposed bills to rein in Big Tech, and not the only one backed by Klobuchar.
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The American Innovation and Choice Online Act would do the following:
“Gerrymandering regulations around a handful of leading businesses will skew competition and leave consumers worse off,” he said, adding: “By hamstringing successful U.S. tech companies without even imposing corresponding obligations on foreign rivals, this shortsighted legislation will put the data and security of U.S. users at risk.”
Consumer Technology Association president Gary Shapiro has said the bill would do irreparable harm to U.S. companies, including by putting them at a disadvantage to China and other nations. “The bill allocates vast new powers to the FTC, allowing the commission to ignore the consumer-welfare standard, while imposing massive fines with minimal due process,” Shapiro said.
The bill allows civil penalties of up to 15% of U.S. revenue for the duration of the violation and authorizes a court to penalize a CEO or corporate officer an amount equal to their compensation for the 12 months preceding or following a complaint. ■
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