Biden’s broad executive order covers Big Tech, net neutrality and more

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The movement to restore FCC net neutrality just gained serious traction. The White House just announced that President Joe Biden will sign a new executive order today that will establish “the entire government’s effort to promote competition in the U.S. economy.” In other words, it focuses on 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which it specifically says “the president encourages the FCC to renew the rules of net neutrality that were previously repealed by the administration.” He also asked the agency to consider limiting early termination fees and prevent Internet service providers from entering into agreements with landlords that restrict tenant selection. In addition, he called on the FCC to revive A label for broadband nutrition that was developed under the Obama administration this would offer greater price transparency.

The order also addressed how “dominant technology companies are undermining competition and reducing innovation”, and announced an administrative policy of greater merger control. It would focus on “dominant internet platforms,” ​​particularly around “the acquisition of emerging competitors, serial mergers, data accumulation, competition from” free “products, and the impact on user privacy.”

As part of its action against Big Tech, the order called on the Federal Trade Commission to “establish rules on monitoring and data accumulation,” as well as rules banning “unfair methods of competition in online markets” and “anti-competitive restrictions on the use of independent services.” self-repair of own devices and equipment. ”

In other industries, such as banking and personal finance, the order similarly required stronger oversight of the merger. He also called on the Office of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) to “issue rules that allow customers to pick up their bank details and take them with them.”

Similar notions of price transparency, increased merger control, prevention of overcompensation, and consumer rights prevailed in other covered industries. In agriculture, the order stressed the need to give consumers the right to repair.

Proposals for the health sector include enabling the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids, supporting price transparency rules, preventing sudden hospital bills, and the possibility of standardizing the plan in the national health insurance market to make it easier to compare purchases. In the area of ​​transport, airlines were the focus of the proposal. The order called for rules on greater transparency and baggage disclosure, change and cancellation fees, as well as better guidance on when a company must issue a refund for baggage delays or non-working services (such as in-flight WiFI or entertainment).

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