Congress begins discussions 'to crack down on Big Tech'

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Congress has reportedly begun talks on ways to "crack down on Big Tech".
  • It includes measures to limit the spread of disinformation and abuse of market power.

A new report says Congressional Democrats have begun talks over ways to "crack down on Big Tech" companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

From Reuters:

Congressional Democrats have begun discussions with the White House on ways to crack down on Big Tech including making social media companies accountable for the spread of disinformation on matters such as the U.S. Capitol riot and addressing the abuse of market power to harm corporate rivals.The conversations, described by a lawmaker and congressional aides, have included the contentious topic of what to do with a measure called Section 230, part of a 1996 law called the Communications Decency Act, that shields social media platforms from lawsuits over much of the content posted by users.

The report notes growing pressure for laws to limit the power of big firms like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Along with disinformation and the promotion of violence on social media, a focus will inevitably be antitrust legislation and enforcement, something that has already been raised by chair of the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee David Cicilline:

Democratic Representative David Cicilline, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, has raised with the White House the topic of more stringent antitrust enforcement against Big Tech, a source familiar with the matter said. A Cicilline spokesman declined comment.

Cicilline has previously stated that an investigation into Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon revealed "deeply disturbing" behavior that required Congress to take action. In comments made in August Cicilline stated that a common theme was "the abuse" of market power to maintain market dominance and crush competitors, as well as excluding companies from their platforms and earning "monopoly rents".

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9