President Biden aims to curb Big Tech's dominance with new executive order

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What you need to know

  • President Joe Biden is expected to sign a sweeping executive order later today, targeting Big Tech's anticompetitive practices.
  • The order will call on regulators to examine large mergers and acquisitions more closely.
  • It will also encourage the FTC to create rules on the accumulation of data and surveillance by Big Tech platforms.

President Joe Biden will sign a new executive order on "promoting competition in the American economy" later today. The order aims to address the lack of competition in Big Tech, financial services, healthcare, and several other sectors.

According to a fact sheet released by the White House on Friday morning, the sweeping order includes a total of 72 initiatives by over a dozen federal agencies to "tackle some of the most pressing competition problems."

The order says leading tech platforms have acquired hundreds of small companies in the last decade to "shut down" competitors. It calls for greater scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions, especially those involving nascent competitors. It also raises concerns about Big Tech platforms accumulating too much personal information from users. In the order, the President encourages the FTC to formulate new rules on surveillance and the accumulation of data by Big Tech.

Additionally, the order could bring an end to the unfair advantage that Big Tech platforms have over small businesses. The FTC has been asked to establish rules that would bar unfair methods of competition on internet marketplaces. These rules would directly affect companies like Google and Facebook.

The Biden administration has also argued that phone manufacturers make repairs more expensive and time-consuming by restricting independent repair shops and DIY repairs. They do this by placing restrictions on the distribution of parts, diagnostics, and repair tools. The FTC has been encouraged to issue rules against these anticompetitive restrictions, which should make it a lot easier to repair the best Android phones and other mobile devices.

The news comes just days after a coalition of 37 state attorney generals filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google over anticompetitive practices on the Play Store. It alleges that Google favors its own apps over third-party apps and discourages third-party app stores on its platform.

Babu Mohan
News Writer
19 Comments
  • Government over reaching again
  • A day late and a dollar short. The destruction has already been done while the government slept and was paid off.
  • Tech giants threw their support behind Biden, though, so it's highly unlikely that they mind the new order.
  • Biden, the guy who "big tech" helped rig the news to favor his campaign, is supposedly going to restrict them? Sure...
  • There is no president Biden because presidents are elected, not installed.
  • Sure he will...much like his towering press conferences and sparkling conversations...
  • Careful what you say here or Biden will have the NSA start monitoring all your emails to prove that you are a Russian operative.
  • This is so many things at once: 1) Executive over-reach. He shouldn't have unilateral power to do anything of the sort 2) A joke, in that big tech obviously is going to find ways around these orders or just build their own platform that will meaningfully compete against the service/product it would have otherwise purchased 3) Hurts entrepreneurialism in that many of those small companies agree to big tech mergers in order to offload the risks of their service or because they can't single-handedly generate profits without the backend/userbase/technical capabilities/additional intellectual property that other tech corporations have. It's not like these businesses are subjected to hostile takeovers; they're sold to big tech by the people who own them, meaning they got an offer that was better than the risks they were living through before.
  • Basement Joe has already proven he doesn’t care about small business. This is just another dog and pony show, Biden knows big tech is in his pocket so he won’t do anything
  • Ol’ sleepy Joe getting his box of crayolas out ready to sign away
  • If Trump can't beat Big Tech what makes Joe Biden think he can? Big Tech is too strong and Joe would be bitting the hand that helped him to win the election and I say this to the Trump supporters on here, no the election wasn't rigged, now get over it and move on.
  • Looking at the comments to see who has read what the EO will do and who hasn't but felt the need to comment anyway is a fun game.
  • Is it anything like somebody commenting something as valuable and pertinent as "God, I wish smallpox would come back" on an article about COVID tracing apps? 🤔
  • Almost as much fun. Almost.
  • We at least see people's political biases and looking at the comments, most on here are for the previous US government.
  • Are you kidding? This site is left
  • I don't think AC is right or left. It has evolved into one big advertisement. I suspect the 'reviews' are mostly paid endorsements. Their only political stance is make lots of money. Ahhh the good old days on AC where there were newsworthy articles, unbiased by the scent of green.
  • I think all the AC writer are expressing their opinions in their reviews and they've all been open about what their preferred OEM they tend to stick with end I think your "paid review" comment is a dig at the Pixel which a lot of comments on here are anti Google and Pixel end pro Samsung.
  • I am more referring to lots of posts, especially Sundays, for instance Watch from Anywhere stories which are obviously endorsements for VPN, but nothing in the header saying it's an ad. I paid for no advertising on the site and still see them. Also makes me suspect of device and software reviews, if they received cash to review. So I don't trust any reviews here because there is never disclosure if they were paid to review or endorse.