A new law would grant the US government more authority to prohibit mergers and eventually penalize corporations such as Apple for antitrust activities of up to 30% of the revenue earned by the acts.
Fresh legislation to battle monopoly lawsuits would be launched now that the Democratic Party has majority control over the House and Senate. Senator Amy Klobuchar has proposed a new bill that would grant the government more authority to penalize anti-competitive activities and stop unlawful mergers.
A New Antitrust Law
The Klobuchar bill will make it more challenging for powerful corporations with considerable market control to purchase smaller enterprises and ban mergers that pose an “appreciable risk of harming competition.” It will put the duty of evidence on big businesses, having them explain that the takeover would not affect the economy.
The “Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act of 2021” makes sweeping amendments to antitrust regulations, according to the Protocol, but they are not as drastic as some predicted. A dissolution of Facebook or any drastic intervention has been asked for by other lawmakers.
The Senate Judiciary antitrust panel has focused on Apple, Facebook, and Google in previous antitrust probes. The companies say say that their corporations are legal and not monopolies, but the government is pushing back.
The bill would also grant senators more authority to penalize corporations that do not comply with antitrust laws. Penalties are in the millions of dollars right now, pocket change for major corporations like Facebook or Apple.
The plan proposes that, following evidence of infringement, US businesses compensate 15 percent of US turnover or 30 percent of their US revenue in an impacted market.
Although the vote is retained by the Democratic Party, the control the Democrats have over the Senate is minor. In order to implement those sweeping reforms, the bill would require Republican help because Republicans do not want to split up big corporations in the same manner.
History of Antitrust Laws Against the Tech Industry
America is no stranger to high-profile antitrust cases in the tech industry.
Microsoft was prosecuted in 1999 by a consortium representing 19 states and the federal Justice Department. A heavily publicized trial ruled that in an effort to eliminate competition from the Netscape browser, Microsoft had strong-armed several companies.
Microsoft and the government settled the lawsuit in favor of a new court, with the government withdrawing the case in exchange for Microsoft promising to cease all of the activities challenged by the government.
CEO Bill Gates claimed in his support that Microsoft only acted on behalf of the customer and that separating the enterprise would reduce productivity and slow down the speed of product growth.