On January 20, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16 to 6 on a bipartisan basis to advance the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, a major tech competition bill, out of committee and toward a full vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The legislation aims to reform laws around Big Tech by targeting them for potential antitrust violations. It would prohibit dominant platforms, defined by criteria including number of users and market cap, from giving preferential treatment to their own products and services over those of their rivals. If passed, the bill would significantly impact firms such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and TikTok. For instance, Amazon and Apple would then likely have to stop giving their own products and services prime spots on their platforms, such as listing them highest in search rankings.
The Big Tech platforms rushed to criticize the bill and launched massive lobbying and PR campaigns. The White House, for its part, has not yet confirmed its support for the bill but has generally favored efforts to increase competition in the space. In any case, the bill will require further attention from leadership to get full approval from the Senate.