U.S. Chamber criticizes Big Tech antitrust legislation as 'dangerous'

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The United States Chamber of Commerce building is seen in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday criticized antitrust legislation set to be considered this week by a U.S. House of Representatives committee, saying the bills would have "dangerous consequences for America."

The largest U.S. business group said "antitrust laws should not be rigged against a small number of companies. Such an approach punishes success and has the government picking winners and losers in our free market economy."

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee will vote on Wednesday on a package of antitrust bills, including several targeting the market power of Big Tech. read more

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Two of the bills address the issue of giant companies, such as Inc (AMZN.O) and Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google, creating a platform for other businesses and then competing against those same businesses. A third bill would require a platform to refrain from any merger unless it can show the acquired company does not compete with any product or service the platform is in.

For its part, Amazon's Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy, said on Tuesday the company believed that the bills "would have significant negative effects on the hundreds of thousands of American small- and medium-sized businesses that sell in our store, and tens of millions of consumers who buy products from Amazon."

"The committee is moving unnecessarily fast in pushing these bills forward," added Husemen. "We encourage Chairman (David) Cicilline and committee members to slow down, postpone the markup, and thoroughly vet the language in the bills for unintended negative consequences."

Five of the six bills to be considered on Wednesday were introduced to the House on Friday. read more

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Reporting by David Shepardson and Diane Bartz Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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