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Senate committee approves antitrust bill targeting big tech

By Megan Hadley
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Senate committee approves antitrust bill targeting big tech
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, co-authored the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, an antitrust bill targeting big tech companies, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that makes it more difficult for big tech companies to favor their services and products over competitors.

The16-6 vote passed the American Innovation and Choice Online Act forward to the Senate.

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All six no votes came from Republicans.

Five Republicans voted yes alongside Democrats: senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Josh Hawley, R-Mo.; and John Kennedy, R-La.

Grassley co-authored the bill with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., chair of the antitrust subcommittee.

The bill prohibits large platforms -- defined by how many users they have and their market cap -- from discriminating against other businesses that rely on their services.

The bill will effect large tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook (Meta).

"In recent years, Big Tech has taken on a larger and larger role in determining what Americans buy, hear, see and say online," Grassley said, according to Marketwatch.

The bill was amended Thursday to include foreign-owned companies, such as TikTok.

Apple, Google and Amazon opposed the bill, arguing that it would expose consumers to scams and impede small businesses that rely on large platforms.

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