President Biden to sign executive order targeting internet service providers, Big Tech
Before the close of Friday, President Joe Biden intends to sign an executive order that will directly impact internet service providers and Silicon Valley, CNN reports.
Aimed at fostering competition among broadband service providers, the executive order will encourage the Federal Communications Commission to reintroduce a so-called "nutrition label" for internet service providers that would give consumers more information about a provider's services.
It also calls for the FCC to restrict early termination fees and to ban exclusivity deals that currently limit apartment buildings and other rental units to only one Internet provider.
In addition to this, it urges the FCC to restore the agency's net neutrality rules for broadband companies that prohibit the selective blocking, slowing, or speeding up of websites.
The order impacts Big Tech companies like Amazon and Facebook by implementing a series of directives that facilitate detailed observations and analysis of mergers. CNN says, "it zeroes-in on so-called "killer acquisitions" involving nascent competitors, the kind of deal critics say Facebook engaged in when it bought Instagram and WhatsApp."
The order appears to target the Silicon Valley business model, which involves the collection and use of large amounts of consumer data, and the incentive for tech companies with multiple lines of business to cross-promote their own services at the expense of competition.
The White House issued a statement, saying: "For decades, corporate consolidation has been accelerating. In over 75% of US industries, a smaller number of large companies now control more of the business than they did 20 years ago. This is true across health care, financial services, agriculture and more."
The statement continued, "That lack of competition drives up prices for consumers. As fewer large players have controlled more of the market, mark-ups (charges over cost) have tripled. Families are paying higher prices for necessities -- things like prescription drugs, hearing aids, and internet service."
According to CNN, the President's order also calls on the Federal Trade Commission to create new rules on data collection and to bar unfair competition in online marketplaces. He also endorsed a principle known as "right-to-repair," calling for FTC rules that ban technology manufacturers from suing independent repair shops or hindering consumers from trying to repair their own devices.
Biden will additionally call on federal regulators to create rules to cut down on non-compete agreements and ban unnecessary occupational licensing requirements, which the White House says impedes economic mobility.
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