New Biden Executive Order Aimed At Cracking Down on Big Tech Mergers And Data Collection

President Joe Biden is scheduled to sign an executive order on Friday cracking down on anti-competitive practices by Big Tech and other industries, CNN reports.

Biden’s wide-ranging executive order includes a crackdown on tech mergers and the collection of user data.

The order would create an administration policy to more closely scrutinize tech merges, including ones that have already been completed. The policy is aimed at targeting “killer acquisitions” in which big firms buy up new competitors, which critics say Facebook did with Instagram and WhatsApp.

The order also targets companies that buy up large caches of data that could allow them to dominate their industries.

New ISP push:

The order also urges the Federal Communications Commission to issue a so-called “nutrition label” for internet service providers to provide consumers with more transparency about services.

The order also urges the FCC to restrict early termination fees and outright ban exclusivity deals that prevent apartment buildings from allowing more than one internet service provider.

The order also calls on the agency to restore net neutrality rules for ISPs, which would ban them from blocking or slowing down certain websites.

New FTC rules?

Biden’s order also urges the Federal Trade Commission to set new rules cracking down on data collection and unfair competition online.

The order also urges the FTC to institute “right-to-repair” rules to ban manufacturers from suing small repair shops and preventing customers from trying to fix their own electronic devices.

Biden also wants regulators to cut down on non-compete agreements and ban “unnecessary occupational licensing requirements,” according to CNN.

Drug costs:

The executive order also directs the Food and Drug Administration to work with states to import prescription drugs from Canada to lower prices.

Canada has thus far opposed such a move and pharmaceutical manufacturers already filed a lawsuit to block the effort when it was hatched under Trump.

The order also instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to create a plan to deal with high drug costs.

And more:

Other provisions are aimed at cracking down on shipping costs, allows hearing aids to be sold over the counter, directs the TSA to require airlines to issue refunds in the event of faulty in-flight Wi-Fi, and directs the USDA to implement new rules to protect farmers.

"For decades, corporate consolidation has been accelerating. In over 75% of US industries, a smaller number of large companies now control more of the business than they did 20 years ago. This is true across health care, financial services, agriculture and more," the White House said in a statement.

"That lack of competition drives up prices for consumers. As fewer large players have controlled more of the market, mark-ups (charges over cost) have tripled. Families are paying higher prices for necessities -- things like prescription drugs, hearing aids, and internet service."


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