President Joe Biden will sign an executive order aimed at promoting competition in the U.S. economy and cracking down on the Big Tech companies many argue hold monopolies, the White House announced Friday.
The order includes 72 initiatives the administration says will improve wages, allow workers to change jobs more easily, limit non-compete agreements and crack down on antitrust issues across the U.S. economy. The order highlights that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have the authority to retroactively challenge large company mergers on antitrust grounds. (RELATED: ‘Picking Winners And Losers’: Here’s How Congress’ Antitrust Legislation Avoids Regulating Many Big Tech Companies
“In over 75% of U.S. industries, a smaller number of large companies now control more of the business than they did twenty years ago. This is true across healthcare, financial services, agriculture and more,” the White House wrote in a fact sheet. “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.”
The order also “encourages” the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to restore the net neutrality rules dismantled under former President Donald Trump’s administration. The order also calls on the FCC to develop rules preventing internet service providers (ISPs) from making exclusivity deals with landlords across the U.S.
“More than 200 million U.S. residents live in an area with only one or two reliable high-speed internet providers , leading to prices as much five times higher in these markets than in markets with more options,” the White House wrote, going on to condemn “landlords and internet service providers entering exclusivity deals or collusive arrangements that leave tenants with only one option. This impacts low-income and marginalized neighborhoods, because landlord-ISP arrangements can effectively block out broadband infrastructure expansion by new providers.”
Biden will deliver remarks further explaining the order later Friday.