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Biden Executive Order Takes On Big Tech, Net Neutrality

Initiatives include directives around data collection and health care
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2021 1:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Biden signed a sweeping executive order Friday aimed at reining in some tech company practices and clearing a path for reforms in health care, too. The Promoting Competition in the American Economy executive order that he signed Friday has 72 initiatives, CNET reports. Some seem deceptively simple, like a request for the FTC to crack down on restrictions on repairing equipment from phones to tractors, the Verge reports. Higher in profile are the measures meant to slow the growth of big tech platforms like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Biden wants those companies to stop gobbling up smaller firms, but the restrictions will "dry up venture capital," Gary Shapiro of the Consumer Technology Foundation told the Wall Street Journal.

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Biden has a different thought. "Capitalism without competition isn't capitalism. It's exploitation,” he said. Also included in the bill were initiatives to limit so-called noncompete clauses that limit mobility for workers, and net neutrality measures, the Washington Post reports. The order also contains directives to keep competition fair around big tech companies using data surveillance and dual roles as tech and sales platforms to game the market. Big sellers like Amazon can create their own versions of products made by small businesses, which they then promote and sell. The order also calls for easing restrictions on importing prescription drugs from Canada and letting stores sell hearing aids over the counter. (Read more Joe Biden stories.)

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