The bill, according to the release, would allow the state to take legal action against large corporations that are using their tech to manipulate the market, including by tweaking search results to favor their own products and demote competitors', and by undercutting competitors' prices to drive their business down.
This would be an update from the current antitrust laws, which mandate that at least two parties must deliberately try to manipulate the economy before any action can be taken, the release stated.
The bill comes on the heels of a hearing last week featuring the leaders of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google all testifying before Congress regarding antitrust issues. The hearing, according to a PYMNTS report, did not go well for the CEOs, with subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline closing the hearing by concluding that the companies "have monopoly power.”
Gianaris said in the release that there is a great need for updated antitrust laws.
“Our antitrust laws were written a century ago for a radically different economy and they are in desperate need of serious updates,” he said, according to the release. “Corporate power has reached unprecedented and dangerous levels, and we need powerful new laws to protect the public and our economy.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James is quoted in the release as agreeing with Gianaris's initiative.
"For more than 100 years, our antitrust laws have served as critical protection for consumers and small businesses from unchecked corporate power to choke off competition and limit consumer choice," she said, according to the release. "While our state’s antitrust laws remain essential to these protections, we support legislation to strengthen them further to meet the challenges of today’s economy."
PYMNTS reporting has argued that the firms are not necessarily squaring off monopolies for themselves. Instead, they are competing with one another in a new, digital landscape which comes with many options for shopping and other such needs.