(NPR) — JUST IN: Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google are monopolies that must be restricted and regulated, House lawmakers conclude in a report that urges Congress to look at forcing “structural separations” of the companies.
House Democrats recommend Congress look at ways to force the companies to split off some of their businesses, saying the tech giants have exploited their power to benefit themselves and hurt rivals.
The lawmakers say Congress should overhaul the laws that have let the companies grow so powerful. In particular, the report says, Congress should look at forcing “structural separations” of the companies and beefing up enforcement of existing antitrust laws.
The recommendations, if enacted, could radically change how these companies operate. They could, for example, restrict Amazon from selling its own products in its marketplace, in direct competition with sellers who depend on the platform to reach customers. Google could be banned from using the data the Android operating system collects on users and other apps to refine its products. Facebook could, theoretically, be barred from acquiring another competitor, after concerns over how it bought rivals including Instagram and WhatsApp.