32 attorneys general throw support behind bipartisan House antitrust bills

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A bipartisan coalition of 32 attorneys general is throwing its support behind six anti-Big Tech antitrust House bills being debated, adding weight to those who want to curb Silicon Valley's influence.

The House legislation, which passed the House Judiciary Committee in June, includes six sweeping antitrust bills aimed at reining in tech companies such as Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. It marks Washington’s most significant and serious attempt to reshape the technology industry.

A comprehensive update of federal antitrust laws hasn't occurred in decades and has resulted in decreased competition in important sectors and judicial skepticism toward enforcing antitrust laws on the books, the state attorneys general said in a letter to congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle Monday.

ANTI-BIG TECH ANTITRUST PUSH EXPECTED UNDER BIDEN

“As state attorneys general, we are very supportive of Congress’ efforts to modernize federal antitrust laws,” the attorneys wrote. “As the antitrust bills move forward from the House Committee on the Judiciary for consideration by the full House of Representatives and, eventually, the Senate, we encourage Congress to continue making improvements to these important measures.”

The bipartisan coalition, which included attorneys general from conservative states such as Utah and North Dakota and liberal ones from states including New York and California, said it would like to see the bills include enhanced consumer protections from unlawful mergers and business practices as well as tweaks to the bills that would ensure competition and innovation are not stifled.

The House antitrust bills have received opposition from members of both parties due to concerns it could harm innovation and result in unintended consequences to consumers.

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The state attorneys general also pushed Congress to include in the antitrust legislation a provision making clear that the states are sovereigns that have equal standing with federal enforcers under federal antitrust law, especially regarding the timing of challenging anti-competitive mergers and other concerning practices of Big Tech companies.





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