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White House Preparing Antitrust Enforcement Executive Order

The White House, going after corporate monopolies, will be pushing antitrust law instructing government agencies to look at how their actions will impact competition, a report from Reuters says.

House lawmakers have been pushing for more widespread antitrust rules against the big tech companies, which have been accused of trying to enact monopolies — including big names like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. The new order is likely to go after corporate monopolies in numerous industries, including banking, airlines and more, an anonymous source told Reuters.

An anonymous source said the order had been “well developed” and would be used to expand upon the 2016 report that was done by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and White House spokesperson Emilie Simons said there was a commitment by President Joe Biden to boost competition in the economy. That will include doing away with noncompete agreements for workers and helping farmers fight off abusive agreements.

But Biden, who is a Democrat, hasn’t named anyone yet to run the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. The report says he’s likely considering Jon Sallet and Jonathan Kanter, who have played roles in fighting Google.

It’s also unclear how the new order will go after things like reining in the power of the aforementioned big tech companies, which have operated for years without much in the way of obstruction.

Congress has been moving forward a package of antitrust legislation including six bills that would limit the powers of big tech. According to PYMNTS, the idea behind the regulations is to modernize antitrust laws to meet the current antitrust needs.

“At its core, this issue is fundamentally about whether or not we have an economy where businesses fighting for economic survival can actually succeed,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said of the “unchecked power” of the biggest tech companies, according to PYMNTS. He said the big tech companies’ influence “undermines the basic concept of economic fairness.”

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