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The US could get a new federal agency to regulate big tech

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Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Lindsey Graham are working together on new legislation called the Digital Consumer Protection Commission Act. It could lead to the establishment of a new federal agency that would be able to regulate tech giants such as Meta, Google, and Amazon.

According to The Hill, the new agency would work alongside the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ). Its focus would be promoting industry competition and consumer privacy.

Under the bill, dominant platforms would be required to get a license to operate from the new agency and if they keep on committing anticompetitive and anti-consumer decisions, could get their license revoked. It would also have oversight of how to respond to emerging risks such as AI where laws have not yet caught up.

Commenting on the new bill, the two senators said:

‘Enough is enough. It’s time to rein in Big Tech. And we can’t do it with a law that only nibbles around the edges of the problem.

Piecemeal efforts to stop abusive and dangerous practices have failed. Congress is too slow, it lacks the tech expertise, and the army of Big Tech lobbyists can pick off individual efforts easier than shooting fish in a barrel. Meaningful change — the change worth engaging every member of Congress to fight for — is structural.’

It is unclear how long it will take for this agency to get set up and start regulating big tech, but the act would first have to get through Congress. Other bills that have tried to limit big tech such as the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act have failed to make it past the voting stage.

Based on what we know, the agency could be pretty powerful and the requirement of licenses for platforms to operate could have a significant impact on platforms that don’t follow the rules. It’ll be interesting to see how this works in the real world if the bill does get approval.

Source: The Hill

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