Biden Seeks Tougher Line on Big Tech in New Order, Says FTC Should Curb Collection of Sensitive Data

President Biden will ask the Federal Trade Commission on Friday to take a tougher line on big tech companies by looking at how dominant Internet players block competition through “killer takeovers” of other platforms and write rules that curb technology. amount of confidential information they can collect.

The measures are part of an expanding order designed to promote competition in the economy by limiting or prohibiting “non-competition” clauses, promoting the importation of drugs from Canada, and other measures.

The White House is touting the order by comparing it to Teddy Roosevelt’s efforts to break trust in the early 1900s and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “supercharged” antitrust enforcement decades later.

The moves against Big Tech reflect modern concerns and appear to be targeting companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.

The takeover rules come amid a turbulent debate over Facebook’s influence after the mega acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp years ago. Social media companies have also come under fire from the political right, albeit primarily over concerns about censorship or rules that kick people off platforms.

Biden’s order appears to target Amazon by ordering the FTC to analyze large retail platforms that can monitor how small businesses’ products are sold and then use that data to launch their versions of the competition.

“Because they run the platform, they can also display their own knockoff products more prominently than small business products,” the White House said in a newsletter.

The order also forces cell phone makers to do the job, instructing the FTC to write rules that allow users to do their own repairs or get third-party stores to fix their phones so companies can’t hog the market with repairs. Time-consuming, expensive parts and diagnostics. .

Biden will sign the order in the White House State Dining Room on Friday and offer comments.

Among the notable provisions, the order encourages the FTC to prohibit or limit non-compete clauses that prohibit employees from seeking a better job at a competing company. Biden says the clauses impact between 36 and 60 million workers and prevent employees from seeking better wages or conditions elsewhere, although companies say the clauses are an important tool for protecting proprietary information from rivals.

Biden will also ask the FTC to ban unnecessary occupational license requirements. The White House says that nearly 30% of jobs in the United States require a license, up from less than 5% in the 1950s, and it is too difficult to transfer licenses from one state to another.

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