President Biden signs new order cracking down on Big Tech monopolies

US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to promote competition among big tech companies by targeting anti-competitive practices.

The White House has taken action against Big Tech monopolies with US President Joe Biden signing an executive order cracking down on data collection, unfair competition and mergers in the industry.

The measure highlights action against Big Tech monopolies that have been accused by Mr. Biden of “undermining competition” in the private sector.

“Capitalism without competition is not capitalism. It is exploitation,” said the US president as he signed the ordinance.

It comes after former President Donald Trump announced he was taking legal action against social media giants Facebook, Twitter and YouTube over allegations of censorship.

Greater tech merger oversight

Mr Biden’s order was for Big Tech platforms buying up future competitors, pointing out that the practice has led to large companies acquiring hundreds of small start-ups.

Mergers in industry and in particular “murderous acquisitions” designed to end competitive threats will now be subject to “greater control” with particular emphasis on Internet platforms.

The Biden administration noted that a lack of competition has driven up prices for consumers and lowered wages for workers.

New rules on data collection

The techniques for collecting information on Big Tech platforms have also been put in a hurry, with the Biden administration encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to establish surveillance rules.

The order noted that data accumulation was a critical part of the business model used by many large platforms that collected “extraordinary amounts” of sensitive personal information.

The Biden administration noted that in some cases companies were collecting “too much” personal information and needed to be curbed.

Unfair competitive practices on the Internet

Mr. Biden also harshly criticized Big Tech platforms “in unfair competition” with small businesses by launching “copier” products that then gain visibility due to their greater presence on the Internet.

The ordinance encouraged the Federal Trade Commission to establish rules prohibiting unfair competition methods in Internet marketplaces.

Protection of independent repair shops was also encouraged, with the Federal Trade Commission advising to establish rules against large companies placing limits on repairs by themselves and by third parties.

In a backgrounder released alongside Mr Biden’s executive order, the White House said corporate consolidation and mergers in the tech industry had been picking up steam for decades.

The list of 72 actions and recommendations involves more than 10 agencies that have been called on to immediately tackle some of the most pressing issues.

While the Biden administration clearly opposes Big Tech, real change will only happen if the responsible government agencies implement the detailed changes in the order.

The decree alone does not guarantee that the recommendations will go into effect and some actions could be affected by legal challenges.

The US Chamber of Commerce has hit back at the order as being “built on the mistaken belief that our economy is too concentrated, stagnant, and failing to generate the private investment needed to spur innovation.”

Executive Deputy Speaker of the House, Neil Bradley, said the economy needed businesses big and small rather than “centralized government diktats.”

The executive order timeline just days after Mr. Trump announced a lawsuit against social media indicates there is bipartisan support for a Big Tech crackdown.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Mr. Trump called the trial a “crucial battle” in defense of the First Amendment that protects free speech in the United States.

“We demand an end to the shadow ban, an end to silence and an end to the blacklist, ban and cancellation,” he said.

“We are going to hold the big technologies very responsible.

“I have no doubts that we will achieve a historic victory for American freedom.”

It comes after Google-owned Facebook, Twitter and YouTube blocked Mr. Trump from posting on social media over fears his comments could spark further violence after rioters attacked the US Congress.

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