Reuter reports that U.S. Republican Senator, Josh Hawley has introduced a bill that will ban mergers and acquisitions of companies with a market value of more than $100 billion. This restriction includes five big tech companies of Silicon Valley: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google.
In recent investigations, regulators are seeking to restrict the anti-competitive power of the big tech giants. The U.S. congress antitrust committee accused the tech giants of following a copy-acquire-kill strategy that copies a competition product, uses the money to acquire, and later shuts down the creator, like Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp. In October 2020, the U.S. House Judiciary Anti-trust Subcommittee concluded that the U.S. top tech giants have established “kinds of monopolies like the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.” Apple strongly objected to the committee’s remarks.
U.S. Senate wants to limit the power of big tech companies like Apple by barring them from all mergers and acquisitions
As per the report, Senator Josh Hawley is a staunch critic of Big Tech and accuses the social media companies of giving little space to conservative voices. He also strongly opposes other sectors which hold too much market power like pharmaceuticals.
His new bill would effectively ban Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc from any deals and would attempt to stop their platforms from favoring their own products over those of rivals.
Hawley’s bill tackles some of the same problems as an antitrust bill introduced by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar in February, and contains some similar measures.
Asked about Klobuchar’s bill, Hawley said, “I’m willing to work with her and anybody of any party and any background. I like a lot of what Senator Klobuchar has proposed.” He described his bill as “significantly tougher.”
Recently, Senator Hawley faced a lot of political backlash for objecting to Joe Biden’s victory certification, obstructing Electoral College vote count, making nazi gestures, and supporting conspiracy theories which led to the unfortunate storming of the U.S Capitol.
Apple has denied all allegations of anticompetitive practices and the CEO of the company, Tim Cook explained that its business model was not to acquire and kill but rather to acquire and flourish. He said:
“If you look at the things behind the investigation, the things are acquisitions, and if you noticed, we didn’t get any questions on acquisitions because our approach on acquisitions has been to buy companies where we have challenges, and IP, and then make them a feature of the phone.”