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Mergers over $5 billion would be prohibited if new bill becomes law

House Democrats plan a series of Big Tech legislation

Big Tech critics in the Senate and Congress are proposing "bold action" to ban any merger deal valued at over $5 billion, with the bill aiming to stop anticompetitive moves, mostly by big tech.

House Democrats have previously launched proposals to limit Big Tech, include one regarding a limitation on mergers. Now a more specific bicameral legislation proposal that would make mergers illegal, has been introduced.

The Prohibiting Anticompetitive Mergers Act is proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and US Representative Mondaire Jones (D-NY). Warren has previously said that Apple is on her Big Tech breakup list.

"For the last five decades, big companies have had almost free reign over our economy, squashing competitors, growing bigger and bigger, and abusing their market power to price gouge consumers and crush workers and small businesses," said Senator Warren in a statement about the new proposal.

"This unconstitutional behavior has to stop," she continued. "My new bill with Rep. Jones would restore our country's anti-monopoly tradition by banning the biggest, most anticompetitive mergers and giving the DOJ and the FTC stronger tools to enforce our antitrust laws and restore real competition in our markets."

"Congress needs to take bold action to bring down prices for families and promote a fairer economy for all Americans," said, "and our bill would do just that."

If enacted, the new legislation would require the FTC and the DOJ to consider both the value of a merger, and its impact on workers. FTC and DOJ Antitrust Division would be empowered to reject mergers that would increase corporate domination, decrease employee benefits, and so on.

"In 2021, our antitrust agencies received more merger filings than in any other year during the last decade," Congressman Mondaire Jones said in the statement. "From major tech mergers between companies like Facebook and Instagram to agriculture mergers between companies like Wayne and Sanderson Farms, the recent rise in corporate consolidation has increased unemployment, suppressed wages, and allowed companies to hike up prices even further during this period of inflation."

"It's why we need the Prohibiting Anticompetitive Mergers Act, which I'm proud to introduce with Senator Elizabeth Warren," he continued. "Our bill would empower workers, raise wages, reduce prices, combat inequality, and enable small businesses to thrive."

"By banning the biggest, most anticompetitive mergers," he said, "overhauling the merger-review process to include consideration of labor-market consequences, and strengthening agencies' tools to break up harmful mergers, our bill will tackle corporate consolidation head on and help build a fairer, more vibrant economy that works for everyone."

Senator Warren's statement says that the legislation proposal is endorsed by "more than 70 antitrust, labor, agriculture, and advocacy organizations."