As momentum builds to reduce the power of big tech, legislators, Beltway experts, and businesses themselves compete to explain to the public what it could mean to us, the everyday consumers of goods and services, from those targeted. .
Will my iPhone really become less secure, as Apple has claimed? Would it narrow down the selection we’ve grown accustomed to at Amazon, as the company has hinted at? Would Facebook be forced to sell Instagram and WhatsApp break those services, as Facebook would have us believe? And would the quality of Google search be degraded by your inability to present your own services, such as Google Maps and YouTube videos, in the results? Or, as business critics would say, will life be better for users, competition, and society if all of these things happen?
Those questions took on new meaning last month when the House Judiciary Committee, with bipartisan support, passed a half-dozen bills that signaled a new willingness to break Faaam, as I like to call the tech titan quintet. (Microsoft, so far, has largely avoided the look.)
Given the tortuous process of making federal laws, the chances of these bills becoming law in their current form are not high, and any movement could be slow. Congress is concerned about other battles at this time. Businesses, their lobbyists and allies are already strongly rejecting this legislation and against the new head of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan, who has criticized the tech giants. A federal judge’s decision last week dismissing antitrust lawsuits against Facebook as “legally insufficient” suggests that enforcing stricter rules will not be easy.
But they clearly increase the chances that something like the provisions of these bills will become the rules that Big Tech must abide by, through an act of Congress, laws at the state level, court battles, a new generation. from regulators like Ms Khan or bipartisan political will to act against technology.