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Republican Senator Proposes Growth Ban On Big Tech

 |  April 13, 2021

Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri unveiled legislation on Monday, April 12, aimed at strengthening antitrust laws and curbing the growing political power of America’s biggest companies, reported CBS.

The legislation, which Hawley called “Trust-Busting For the 21st Century Act,” bans all mergers and acquisitions by companies with a market capitalization of over US$100 billion, empowers the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prohibit “digital dominant firms” from buying out potential competitors, and forces companies that lose antitrust lawsuits to forfeit profits from monopolistic conduct.

“If you allow corporations to amass significant economic power through market concentration, they are going to have political power, and they’re going to use it,” Hawley told reporters. “We’re also seeing the growing political power, not just of tech, although that’s quite significant, but of industry across the board.”

Nearly 150 companies, including large corporations like Apple and Amazon, as well as others like Pfizer, Nike, Costco, and McDonalds have a market cap of over US$100 billion. All of them would be impacted by Hawley’s bill and prohibited from merging with or acquiring smaller competitors.

Hawley pointed to the more than 100 corporations that virtually met Saturday to signal their organized opposition to restrictive voting laws being passed across the country as an example of corporate overreach. 

“Their efforts to influence or outright stop voting laws in various states, this is indicative I think of the kind of very significant and growing political power that the largest concentrated corporations the mega corporations have in this country and are willing to use today,” Hawley added. “Today it is election integrity, tomorrow it will be something else. The point is that their political power is tracking their economic power.”