Legislation that would bar technology companies from favoring their own products in a way that undermines competitiveness moved forward Thursday after a Senate panel voted to move the bill to the Senate floor.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act received bipartisan support in a 16-6 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill targets Amazon; Alphabet, the parent company of Google; Apple; and Meta, which was formerly called Facebook.
The companies had worked strenuously to sink the bill, arguing it could disrupt their services.
Smaller tech companies that supported the bill argued it will benefit consumers through adding competition.
“This bill is not meant to break up Big Tech or destroy the products and services they offer,” said Senator Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the judiciary panel. “The goal of the bill is to prevent conduct that stifles competition.”
Matt Schruers, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, was critical of the bill and said he thought it would not pass the full Senate.
“Antitrust policy should aim to promote consumer welfare — not punish specific companies,” he said in a statement.
Another bill aimed at Big Tech, which has bipartisan sponsorship, is also working its way through Congress. The Open App Markets Act would prevent the Apple and Google app stores from requiring app makers to use their payment systems.
The House of Representatives is also considering versions of both bills.
Some information for this report came from Reuters.