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U.S. House antitrust findings on Big Tech likely in three reports - sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee’s findings on abuse of market power by four large tech companies is expected to be broken up into three reports, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter, as bipartisanship among committee members appeared to break down.

FILE PHOTO: The logos of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google in a combination photo from Reuters files

The report from a Judiciary Committee panel focuses on how the business practices of Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google, Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc hurt rivals.

The staff report will reflect the views of Democrats, who hold a majority in the House, and two other reports will be authored by Republican members on the panel, the sources said. Previously the committee had been expected to release one report representing the whole panel.

The committee will release its findings just three weeks before the presidential election on Nov. 3. Congress is unlikely to act on the findings this year.

The committee, led by Democratic Chairman David Cicilline, is expected to release the highly anticipated report this week. A spokesman for the committee declined to comment.

The two reports from Republicans are likely to come from Representatives Ken Buck and Jim Jordan. A draft of Buck’s report and recommendations was released on Monday, and said efforts such as those aimed at breaking up tech companies would not be supported by conservatives.

Buck said in an interview with Reuters that he agreed with most of the majority’s lengthy report, which is expected to be very critical of some Big Tech business practices.

“Of the 350 pages, I’m agreeing with the majority in 330 pages. I think that’s historic,” he said.

Buck reiterated areas of agreement with the Democratic majority, including giving more resources to antitrust enforcers and requiring companies to allow consumers to move data from one platform to another.

The report from Jordan is likely to focus on the issue of conservative bias, sources said.

Jordan’s response to the majority report is expected to accuse Big Tech of stifling conservative voices; urge that companies be stripped of some protections under Section 230, a federal law that protects internet companies; and call for rigorous enforcement of existing antitrust law, according to a Republican spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee.

Democrats are urging Republicans to join Buck’s response because it is largely supports the majority report, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Reporting by Nandita Bose and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Richard Chang and Cynthia Osterman

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