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Biden’s large-scale executive order covers Big Tech, net neutrality and even more

U move to get the FCC to restore net neutrality just gained some serious traction. The White House just announced that President Joe Biden will today sign a new executive order that will establish a “government-wide effort to promote competition in the American economy.” In other words, these are anti-competitive practices in a wide range of industries, including Internet services and technology.

The order contains 72 proposals and actions, among which it specifically states “the president encourages the FCC to reinstate the Net Neutrality rules repealed by the previous administration.” He also asked the agency to consider limiting early termination rights and preventing Internet service providers from making deals with landlords that limit tenants ’choices. He also ordered the FCC to revive it the broadband nutrition label that was developed under the Obama administration which offers greater price transparency.

The ordinance also examined how “dominant technology firms undermine competition and reduce innovation,” and announced an administrative policy of more scrutiny of mergers. It would focus on “dominant internet platforms”, in particular around the acquisition of nascent competitors, serial mergers, data accumulation, competition from “free” products and the effect on privacy. ‘users’.

As part of its crackdown on Big Tech, the order called on the Federal Trade Commission to “establish rules on surveillance and data accumulation,” with a ban on “unfair methods of competition in markets. internet “and” anti-competitive restrictions on the use of independent repair shops or DIY repairs of your devices and equipment. ”

In other industries, such as banking and personal finance, the order also called for a more robust examination of mergers. He also encouraged the Consumer Financial Protection Council (CFPB) to “issue rules that allow customers to download their bank details and carry them with them”.

Similar notions of price transparency, consumer rights, increased scrutiny of mergers and prevention of excessive spending were prevalent in all other covered industries. In agriculture, for example, the order also highlighted the need to give consumers the right to repair their tractors and equipment.

Proposals for the healthcare sector include allowing the sale of hearing aids in the bank, upholding price transparency rules, preventing billing at surprise hospitals and standardizing plan options in the National Health Insurance Market for make comparison easier. In the transportation section, airlines were the focus of suggestions. The order called for rules around greater transparency and disclosure of luggage, changes and cancellation fees, as well as better guidelines for when a company should issue refunds for delayed luggage or services that don’t work (such as WiFi in flight or entertainment).

After the order was signed later today, the administration will have a lot of work to do to launch these initiatives. It’s not a guarantee that all of the suggestions announced here will happen eventually, but it’s a clear sign that Biden’s team is paying close attention to anti-competition issues, a lack of transparency in more industries and other unfair practices.

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