Tech giants have skirted regulation because of how monopolies are defined by law. Democrats now want to rewrite those laws.



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Jeff Bezos standing in front of a television: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testifies via video conference during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on Online Platforms and Market Power in the Rayburn House office Building, July 29, 2020. Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images


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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testifies via video conference during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on Online Platforms and Market Power in the Rayburn House office Building, July 29, 2020. Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images

  • Now that House Democrats have completed a sweeping antitrust investigation into Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google, they’re prepared to introduce new laws to curb the tech giants’ power.
  • The 449-page report published by the House Antitrust Subcommittee on Tuesday, as well as public statements by Democrats on the heels of the report, signal how they might go about changing the laws.
  • Antitrust court decisions in recent decades have focused on consumer welfare, but Democrats say laws need to be updated given that many tech companies don’t charge consumers for their products and have wide-ranging impacts on workers and other businesses.
  • Meanwhile, Republicans have signaled that they’re on board for some — but not all — of Democrats’ plans for new antitrust laws.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In their scathing report published on the heels of a 16-month investigation into Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google, House Democrats concluded that the four companies are powerful monopolies the likes of which America hasn’t seen in over a century.

“Companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” they wrote.

But now, in order to regulate the companies, Democrats say the antitrust laws that were used to lasso robber barons of centuries past need to be majorly updated.

Lawmakers on the House Antitrust Subcommittee said they want to move quickly to introduce new laws in the coming weeks and months that could