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US Senate Passes Bill Allowing AGs To Pick Location Of Where Antitrust Suits Are Heard

 |  June 15, 2022

On Tuesday the US Senate passed legislation to allow state attorneys general to pick the location where their federal antitrust suits are heard, reported Bloomberg.  When first announced Alphabet’s Google had opposed the bill.

The chamber passed the measure by unanimous consent. An amendment removed a provision that would have applied the measure retroactively to a 2020 antitrust suit filed by Texas and 14 other states and territories against the operator of the world’s largest search engine. 

The bill, which has widespread bipartisan backing, now requires a House floor vote. If enacted, the legislation would give states the power to decide where antitrust trials are held, with companies not allowed to challenge those decisions. The federal government already has the same right

The measure grew out of a 16-month investigation by a House antitrust panel into the power of giant technology platforms. It represents a key step by US lawmakers to curb the monopoly power of internet giants in the nearly 30 years since the worldwide web was made available for commercial use — with the exception of a measure to protect online privacy for children in 1998. It’s part of a package of antitrust bills designed to rein in Big Tech that Congress is pushing to turn into law before the August recess.

Other bills, which are expected to be voted on as soon as next week, would bar large technology platforms like Amazon, Microsoft and Meta Platforms from favoring their own products over those of smaller rivals who use their platforms. A second proposal would open up distribution of apps on mobile devices, forcing Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc. to allow alternate app stores and payment methods.

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