Intern/Dong Jingyi Reporter/Shao Bingyan
On January 20, EASTERN TIME, the US Senate Judiciary Committee approved the "American Internet Innovation and Choice Act" by 16 votes in favor and 6 votes against, prohibiting large technology platforms from putting their products and services above competitors, and the bill will be submitted to the Senate for consideration.
The Wall Street Journal called it a victory for those who support tighter regulation of big tech companies.
The bill will cover companies with more than 50 million monthly active users and a market capitalization of more than $550 billion. CNBC believes the bill has significant implications for Amazon, Apple and Google in particular, but under current regulations, it will also apply to other large platforms such as Facebook owner Meta.
Under the bill, Google searches won't automatically show google maps results, iPhones won't come preloaded with Apple apps, Amazon won't be able to offer free two-day Prime shipping, or even sell consumer goods under its popular, low-cost Amazon Basics brand.
Consumer groups and dozens of tech startups supported the bill. Sumit Sharma, senior research fellow at Consumer Reports' technology competition, said: "Consumers will benefit from this bill because it makes it easier to install, select and use alternative applications and online services... By mixing and matching services from different providers, it is easier for consumers and small businesses to switch between ecosystems."
The Wall Street Journal noted that proponents, including smaller tech companies such as Yelp and Sonos, say the proposal will boost competition from platforms that abuse their market position, thereby benefiting consumers.
Meanwhile, big tech platforms have launched massive lobbying campaigns against the bill, and lobbyists from these companies argue that the legislation could make it more difficult to guard against malware and vulnerabilities in devices and could make their services less convenient.
Kent Walker, Google's chief legal counsel, described the possible consequences in a blog post jan. 18: If the law is passed, Google may have to stop showing a map of vaccination locations in search results. It may have to stop blocking spam in Gmail. It may not show a "clear message" to someone who is seeking medical help and "lead you to a low-quality result." ”
The New York Times argues that time is running out to try to rein in big tech companies, and that the next few months could be the last chance in that time, after which attention will turn to midterm elections.