Congress Must ‘Seize Moment’ to Reform Antitrust, Cicilline Says

The chairman of the House antitrust panel said he’ll introduce legislation “very soon” to reform antitrust laws to curb the power of large technology platforms in the digital economy.

Representative David Cicilline, the Rhode Island Democrat who led a 16-month investigation of American technology giants, said Monday that he’s working with colleagues to craft legislation that can pass Congress in response to his panel’s findings.

Congress Must ‘Seize Moment’ to Reform Antitrust, Cicilline Says

“We intend in Congress to seize this moment working with all of you to make sure we move forward and make significant progress to address this monopoly challenge we face in our country, because our failure to do so is not an option,” Cicilline said at a small business webinar.

Cicilline’s work on antitrust legislation is part of an emerging effort on Capitol Hill to give antitrust enforcers more power to block mergers and stop anticompetitive conduct. Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota introduced her own legislative proposal earlier this month with other Democrats.

Cicilline didn’t specify when legislation will be introduced or reveal details about any proposals. He said he expects a measure to prohibit tech companies from operating platforms and competing on them at the same time -- one of the main recommendations of his committee’s investigation.

Cicilline said he also plans to reintroduce a bill that would give news publishers a safe harbor from antitrust laws to collectively negotiate financial terms with Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc.

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