Biden will sign an executive order cracking down on Big Tech firms buying up smaller companies and hoarding user data.
President Joe Biden will on Friday sign an executive order cracking down on the power of Big Tech firms, as first reported by The New York Times.
The fact-sheet for the wide-ranging executive order focusing on “promoting competition in the American economy” was posted by the White House Friday morning. Technology makes up just one part of the order, which also targets sectors like the job market, healthcare, and transportation — but it takes specific aim at Big Tech platforms.
The order will, first, tell federal agencies to scrutinize mergers involving Big Tech firms more closely, especially when these firms try to buy smaller companies that could one day become their competitors.
Second, the order says Big Tech platforms are “gathering too much personal information,” and will instruct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to draw up rules and limitations on how Big Tech companies can hoover up consumer data.
The order also says Big Tech companies can use their troves of data to give themselves an advantage over smaller businesses, and asks the FTC to draw up rules “barring unfair methods of competition on internet marketplaces.”
On top of the orders specifically targeting Big Tech companies, Biden will also reportedly ask the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to create new rules for broadband internet providers, and encourage the FCC to readopt net neutrality rules.
Big Tech companies including Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google are already under intense antitrust scrutiny in Washington.
In June, Congress introduced a series of bills directed at these four companies, and Biden appointed renowned Big Tech critic Lina Khan as head of the FTC, a move that prompted Amazon to ask that Khan be removed from any enforcement decisions involving the company.