The White House is working on an antitrust enforcement order that aims to get government agencies to consider how their decisions will affect competition in an industry, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
The order follows corporate monopolies in a wide range of industries, ranging from banking to airlines, one source said.
The drive comes as MPs move forward with extensive antitrust legislation aimed at limiting the power of large technology companies such as Facebook, Alphabet Google,, Amazon, and Apple and preventing corporate consolidation.
It was not immediately clear how such an order would support these Capitol Hill efforts and control the power of large technology companies that have been thriving for years without much regulation.
One source described the order as “well-designed” and said it was based on a 2016 report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Both sources say former Obama administration officials who now work for president are working on it. Joe Biden.
Sources say no decision has been made on when and whether the order will be released.
White House spokeswoman Emily Simons did not comment on specific details, but said the president had made it clear during his campaign that he was committed to increasing competition in the U.S. economy, including by banning incompetent workers’ agreements and protections. of farmers from abuse.
“There is currently no final decision on any action,” she said.
Former president To Barack Obama the administration issued a similar order in 2016, which prompted executive agencies to promote competition but failed to move the needle. Biden’s order includes details on how specific government agencies should review deals and competition in industries, one source said.
This was followed by the appointment of Tim Wu, an outspoken critic of Google, Facebook and Amazon, as the president’s special assistant for competition policy.
Biden, a Democrat, has not yet nominated anyone to head the Justice Department’s antitrust department, and is thought to be considering John Salet and Jonathan Canter, both involved in the fight against Google.
The Democrats’ push to focus on the monopoly power of large technology companies is not new. The Antimonopoly Parliament’s subcommittee last year published a scathing report on the technology industry after a 16-month investigation, saying Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google were involved in various monopolistic behaviors.
In particular, large technology companies face similar challenges to their power around the world, including antitrust investigations in Europe and new legislation in Australia and India to limit their power.
Companies deny that their business practices harm competition and consumers.
© Thomson Reuters 2021