Bills Targeting Big Tech Up for US Senate Panel

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will begin debating on two bills that were designed to regulate the technology industry and tame the power of Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook.

The Senate committee will probe the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) and the Open App Markets Act on Thursday. The bills will be sent to the full Senate for a vote if it passes through the committee.

The AICOA — introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, and Chuck Grassley, a Republican — mainly aims to bar tech giants from giving preference for their own businesses on their websites. It will also prohibit tech platforms from misusing data to gain competitive advantage.

The Open App Markets Act, sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn, will ban big app stores like the Apple Store from forcing app developers from using their payment system and punishing those who opt to use third-party payment services to bypass the requirement.

Lobbyists expect the legislation to pass through the committee without much issues since four of its Republican members are co-sponsors, including Grassley.

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