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U.S. House panel to vote Wednesday on bills targeting Big Tech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House Judiciary Committee will vote on Wednesday on a package of six antitrust bills, including several targeting the market power of Big Tech, the panel said on Thursday.

The bills will be marked up in committee to consider changes and then voted on by the panel to decide whether the full House of Representatives should vote on the measures.

Two of the bills address the issue of giant companies, such as Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, creating a platform for other businesses and then competing against those same businesses.

These bills – one of which would force companies to sell businesses – have attracted the most opposition. Some pro-tech groups have said they could mean the end of popular promotions like Amazon Prime free shipping and iMessage in iPhones.

In addition to the two bills aimed at conflict of interest in platforms’ businesses, a third bill would require a platform to refrain from any merger unless it can show the acquired company does not compete with any product or service the platform is in. A fourth would require platforms to allow users to transfer their data elsewhere, including to a competing business.

The House members also introduced a fifth bill, a companion to a measure that has already passed the Senate and would increase the budgets of antitrust enforcers and make companies planning the biggest mergers pay more.

A sixth bill would ensure that state attorneys general are able to remain in the court they select rather than having their cases moved to a court the defendant prefers.

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