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Biden encourages further scrutiny of large companies – News

Washington-President Biden signed a drastic executive order on Friday aimed at promoting competition across the economy, scrutinizing federal agencies for a closer look at the technology industry, and the high price charged by sea carriers. Encourage a wide range of actions, including rate crackdowns and permits. Hearing aids are sold over the counter.

The order reflects increased government acceptance of warnings from some economists that intensifying competition is hampering economic vitality, raising prices, reducing consumer choices in key areas and curbing wages. doing. Limit the freedom of workers to change jobs..

But Biden’s actions alone could find challenges in dealing with intensifying competition across different sectors of the economy, including Silicon Valley, Wall Street, chain restaurants, and large hospital networks. Experts warn in many areas that the president needs to work with Congress to change federal law. He also wants to be more successful than former President Donald J. Trump, who has issued executive orders focused on competition and has seen limited results from them.

In this week’s interview, senior executives acknowledged the limits of administrative authority, but the order takes steps to promote competition in several areas that are most likely to succeed in driving change in the economy as a whole. He said he chose to take action, such as instructing federal regulators to take action.

Part of the order informs the federal agency approving the merger that it needs to update its guidance to review transactions in order to better understand Silicon Valley’s business model. Another is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to revive broadband provider net neutrality rules. Yet another has asked the Federal Trade Commission to prevent manufacturers from preventing farmers from repairing their own tractors.

The other part is targeted at healthcare at some level. The order assists state and tribal governments in importing low-cost prescription drugs from Canada, promotes regulations issued this year to allow hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter, and hospitals with the FTC and the Department of Justice. Ask them to scrutinize and ensure their mergers more closely. Patients are not harmed by them.

This order also encourages the FTC to ban or limit non-compete agreements. It has been increasingly used in recent years to try to impede employers’ ability to quit for a better job. It also encourages the Commission to ban “unnecessary” occupational license restrictions. This can limit workers’ ability to find new jobs, especially across state boundaries. It also encourages both the Commission and the Department of Justice to further limit employers’ ability to share information about workers’ wages in ways that could lead to collusion.

In a broader sense, the Executive Order is for antitrust regulators to negotiate higher wages or better profits because the merger has little choice over antitrust law, or where workers work. We encourage you to consider ways that can contribute to an industry that lacks leverage.

In a news release, government officials said they would create a White House competition council led by Brian Deese, chairman of the National Economic Council, to “coordinate the federal response to the growing power of large corporations in the economy.” It was.

The order is a victory for a growing group of lawmakers, scholars, and rival companies who say government regulators have been unable to check the growth of companies in the United States for decades, and instead the government is at a high level. You need to prevent mergers or break monopolies that are in line with the conservative view of the legislation that has set.

They say policymakers need to proactively enforce antitrust laws and perhaps completely rewrite them. They argue that without drastic action, consumers will have fewer choices, suppliers of large companies will be oppressed, and megacorporations will only grow.

Biden has already put a voice critic of corporate power in a leadership position. At the White House, he appointed Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia University and a frank supporter of the dissolution of a company like Facebook, as special adviser to the competition. He appointed Lina Khan as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. Kahn has been working on antitrust investigations against Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, writing critically about focusing on other industries such as candy making and agriculture early in his career.

However, Mr. Biden’s administration has a limited scope. The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission are independent bodies that enforce existing antitrust and telecommunications laws. He has also not yet nominated a person to lead the antitrust department of the Justice Department. This is an important position in determining the Justice Ministry’s position on competition issues.

Lawmakers have made several proposals to strengthen the hands of government agencies on Big Tech, but those bills are expected to face fierce resistance. Many executive order measures do not necessarily require Act of Congress to expand the capabilities of government agencies. Those familiar with the White House’s thinking often said that regulators are refraining from enforcing existing legislation and creating new rules.

One of the goals of the executive order is a merger in which large companies buy small and medium-sized companies that could be fierce competitors and drown out their rivals before they get on track. The directive revisits the guidelines used to evaluate proposed transactions, such as when a company buys a young competitor or when it buys a major cache of data that may help control it. We encourage agencies to consider.

The order also requires the FCC to adopt new restrictions on the practices of broadband Internet providers such as Comcast, AT & T and Verizon. Activists have long said that consumers have too few options and spend too much money on Internet services.

Biden also bans Internet providers from blocking certain content, slowing delivery, and paying more for clients to deliver content faster, so-called net neutrality. We encourage you to re-enact the rules. The agency adopted the rules during the Obama administration and then rolled them back under President Donald J. Trump.

Cecilia Kang contributed to the report.

Biden encourages further scrutiny of large companies

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