Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Monday introduced legislation that targets Big Tech groups including Amazon and Google by making it more difficult to market and use certain online services.
The Bust Up Big Tech Act would ban tech companies that market search engines, marketplaces, and exchanges from advertising or selling their own goods and services on their websites in a way that competes with third-party groups.
It would also ban these same companies from providing internet infrastructure and online hosting for other companies, including banning Amazon from providing cloud computing services through Amazon Web Services.
The Federal Trade Commission would be empowered by the legislation to monitor compliance, with the bill giving state attorneys general and private citizens the right to bring civil suits against the companies if they do not comply.
“Woke Big Tech companies like Google and Amazon have been coddled by Washington politicians for years,” Hawley said in a statement Monday. “This treatment has allowed them to amass colossal amounts of power that they use to censor political opinions they don’t agree with and shut out competitors who offer consumers an alternative to the status quo.”
“It’s past time to bust up Big Tech companies, restore competition, and give the power back to the American consumers,” he added.
Hawley is the only Senate sponsor, and there is no companion legislation in the House.
The legislation was introduced on the heels of Hawley rolling out a separate piece of legislation last week targeting Big Tech antitrust issues.
The Trust-Busting for the Twenty-First Century Act would ban all mergers and acquisitions by companies that have a market capitalization of more than $100 billion, which would make it more difficult for Big Tech, such as Google or Facebook, from buying and incorporating other tech groups.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have increasingly considered breaking up Big Tech companies in recent years.
The House Judiciary Committee last week approved a report with bipartisan support that details ways that Google parent company Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook allegedly abuse their market power.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee will hold a hearing later this week to examine competition in app stores, with both Apple and Google last week committing to sending witnesses to testify.