The Senate took a big step toward regulating Big Tech

The Senate took a big step toward regulating Big Tech
Senator Amy Klobuchar is one of the bill's cosponsors.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance a bill meant to rein in Big Tech.
  • If passed, the bill would bar tech platforms from giving preferential treatment to their products.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-6 on Thursday to move forward with a bill that could be a major thorn in the side of companies including Apple, Google, and Amazon.

The vote for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act passed with support from both Democratic and Republican senators. The bill will now be sent to the Senate floor to be voted on.

If passed, the bill would bar Big Tech companies from giving their products preferential treatment on their own platforms. For example: Amazon couldn't bump its own products to the top of its marketplace ahead of third-party products.

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

"As dominant digital platforms — some of the biggest companies our world has ever seen — increasingly give preference to their own products and services, we must put policies in place to ensure small businesses and entrepreneurs still have the opportunity to succeed in the digital marketplace," Sen. Amy Klobuchar, one of the bill's cosponsors, said in a statement.

Some tech executives have voiced opposition to the bill. Google's legal chief, Kent Walker, published a blog post Tuesday saying the bill could "threaten America's national security."


Sen. Ted Cruz said he spent 40 minutes on Wednesday talking directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook about the bill, CNBC reported. Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment from Insider.

The bill addresses previous allegations that some Big Tech companies have used their dominant market positions to give their products an unfair leg up.

In April, the European Union accused Apple of illegally disadvantaging music streamers with its App Store rules following a complaint filed by Spotify in 2019.

In November, the EU denied an appeal from Google to overturn a $2.8 billion antitrust fine it received for favoring its own shopping service in search results over competitors. Google asked Europe's top court to overturn the fine this week, Bloomberg reported.