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Major tech giants like Google and Facebook could in the face of a massive, crippling fines and penalties under a new law meant to combat violations of the antitrust laws.
The “Articulate Deterrance Act,” was introduced by Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Richard Blumenthal, would allow the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to seek civil penalties for anti-competitive behaviour on the basis of the existing U.s. anti-trust laws.
Under the bill, the fines can be as high as 15 per cent of the overall US revenues to 30 per cent of its total turnover in the relevant market. Depending on the offense, and how that number is calculated, it can be a serious dent in companies’ bottom lines.
An alphabet, the parent company of Google, which reported $38.94 billion in the second quarter, the sector’s turnover. In the Amazon, which reported $63.4 billion in the second quarter, the sector’s turnover. Facebook said that the FTC has been notified of an anti-trust investigation, a $16.9 in the second quarter of sales. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s firm recently paid the FTC $5 billion as part of the agency’s investigation of the privacy breach.
“We have a monopoly issue in the country. So, as with the federal enforcers discover any illegal monopolistic behavior, they need to act decisively in order to ensure that it stops,” the Minnesotta senate, and 2020 presidential candidate, said in a statement. “Our legislation will be the ability of the Department of Justice and the FTC, to scare the companies into monopolistic practices that hurt competition, consumers and innovation in our economy.”
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Big Tech companies may be faced with stiff penalties under a new law.
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Attorney General William Barr Department of Justice has opened a broad antitrust investigation into its potentially anti-competitive conduct by Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
“Without the discipline of effective market competition on the basis of a digital platform able to act in a manner which does not respond to the demand of the consumers,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Anti-trust Division said in a previously released statement. “The Department’s anti-trust review, will explore these important issues.”
According to the Democratic senators and their legistation and has the backing of several consumer watchdog and anti-trust policy to the groups.
“Senator Klobuchar’s legislation, will have new teeth to our anti-trust laws by empowering the managers and the courts in the imposition of significant financial penalties if a company is abusing its dominant position in the market,” said Charlotte Slaiman, competition policy counsel at Public Knowledge, in a statement.
Klobuchar is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights.
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