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US Republican Senator Josh Hawley Proposes Big Tech Ban On M&A: Report

US Republican Senator Josh Hawley Proposes Big Tech Ban On M&A: Report
  • U.S. Republican Senator and harsh Big Tech critic Josh Hawley presented a bill that would prohibit every merger and acquisition by any company with a market value exceeding $100 billion, Reuters reports.
  • The bill encompassed Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT), Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google, and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB).
  • Hawley blamed the influential social media companies for chocking conservative opinion leading to the political misuse of power. He also criticized the pharmaceutical sector over its market dominance. Hawley pointed to the Saturday virtual meetings conducted by over 100 corporations to oppose the country’s restrictive voting laws.
  • Hawley’s bill will permit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to tag companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) as “digital dominant firms” and forbid them from acquiring potential social media competitors. Companies with such labels will be prohibited from the prioritization of their search results without transparency.
  • The bill aims to prohibit any deal-seeking product favoritism from the Big Techs, acting as an add-on to the Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Feb. antitrust bill. Hawley endorsed Klobuchar’s proposal and was willing to work with anyone towards his bill, which he considered “significantly tougher.”
  • Representative David Cicilline intended to introduce a series of antitrust bills in the House of Representatives.
  • Hawley endorsed tech critic Lina Khan and was yet to decide on her nomination to the FTC.
  • Price action: AAPL shares traded lower by 0.33% at $130.81, while MSFT shares traded higher by 0.25% at $256.55 in the premarket session on the last check Tuesday.

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Posted-In: Briefs FTC ReutersNews Tech Media

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