(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration is exploring ways to rein in the nation’s biggest technology companies, possibly through bipartisan legislation that’s under consideration in the U.S. Senate, according to people familiar with the matter.
The White House is planning a meeting this week to discuss the topic, according to two of the people, who were granted anonymity to discuss the deliberations.
The event will include critics of the tech giants as well as representatives of smaller digital firms. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed and economic adviser Brian Deese have helped to organize the session and next steps, two people said.
The White House would like to help build consensus for the measure, but doesn’t intend to openly endorse the legislation at this point, according to one of the people familiar with situation.
White House communications staff didn’t immediately comment.
Lawmakers have urged the White House to help advance the measure, which is intended to curb the dominance of Apple Inc., Amazon Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.
The bill, from Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, and Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, has inspired fierce opposition from major U.S. technology companies, who warn that it would harm products that are popular with consumers. The legislation, which the Senate Judiciary Committee could consider as soon as Thursday, would prohibit dominant platforms from giving an advantage to their own products, like, say, Google Maps and Apple Music.
Apple and Google on Tuesday warned that the bill would hurt their ability to protect user security and safety and would put U.S. technology at a disadvantage against foreign competitors, who wouldn’t be subject to the new guidelines. The Biden administration is also weighing the concerns raised by the four companies that would be affected, one of the officials said.
The White House has increasingly turned to corporate executives to serve as informal advisers, policy allies and political boosters as the administration grapples with controversial issues.
The Klobuchar-Grassley bill is the tech-focused measure that is best positioned to advance in Congress, since it has a strong roster of bipartisan co-sponsors and a companion bill in the House. Democratic lawmakers have been pushing the White House to publicly support the legislation.
President Joe Biden will weigh whether to mention the anti-trust issue in his March State of the Union speech, one of the people said.
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