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Biden Executive Order Takes Aim at Monopolies & Concentrated Markets - Airlines Repairs Banking Broadband 7/9/21

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Biden Executive Order Takes Aim at Monopolies & Concentrated Markets - Airlines Repairs Banking Broadband 7/9/21


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This is a big one. It includes "right to repair" for vehicles and electronics like iPhones, airline refunds for baggage and bad wi-fi, banking and other industries. Read the full story at POLITICO: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/0 ... ies-498876
Biden's assault on monopolies launches Friday
The sweeping executive order, coming Friday, takes aim at monopolies and concentrated markets in industries including agriculture, airlines, broadband and banking.

The White House is scheduled to issue an executive order Friday to promote competition throughout the U.S. economy in the most ambitious effort in generations to reduce the stranglehold of monopolies and concentrated markets in major industries. The order — whose details POLITICO first reported last week — marks a major push by President Joe Biden’s administration to focus on competition as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic. It also offers a response to progressives’ criticisms that the federal government has focused too much on supporting banks and other corporations without concern about the effect on consumers, who have watched their choices dwindle over the years. Biden plans to sign the order at 1:30 p.m., the White House said.

The order’s impacts could be felt in industries including agriculture, airlines, health, broadband and banking. Previously unreported elements include a provision urging the Federal Communications Commission to reinstate its Obama-era net neutrality rules, as well as a call for financial regulators to allow data sharing among financial companies. Over the past week, the White House has trickled out information on various aspects of the order and how it will encourage greater consumer protections and competition. The order is expected to include initiatives such as forcing airlines to refund fees to passengers who receive shoddy Wi-Fi service or baggage handling; restricting businesses’ ability to foist noncompete agreements on employees; challenging occupational licensing requirements that limit competition in industries like health care; and guaranteeing farmers and motorists the right to repair their own vehicles without voiding warranty protections. The last provision would also have implications for consumer products like Apple’s iPhones.

Top White House officials said the order seeks to ensure small businesses and consumers have access to fair markets. “The overarching objective with the executive order is to make sure the president is encouraging competition in industries around the country,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday. Taking aim at just one industry the order is expected to cover, Psaki added: “It doesn’t sound right to most people that there are three shipping companies that are dominating the market and upping and increasing costs for suppliers, small businesses, people across the country. That doesn’t sound right or fair, because it isn’t.”

Background: The executive order builds off one that former President Barack Obama issued in 2016, which encouraged agencies to consider competition in their decisions and rulemakings. That order — largely the work of Jason Furman, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers — came near the end of Obama’s presidency. Few agencies followed through on the White House’s prodding, and those that did saw their actions largely overturned by former President Donald Trump’s appointees. Biden’s order will go a step beyond Obama’s by offering pointed suggestions for steps to take, rather than leaving implementation entirely to the agencies. The new order is the product of months of negotiations among White House officials, particularly Tim Wu — who served on Obama’s National Economic Council and is now a Biden aide focused on technology and competition policy — along with the Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission and other federal agencies.

While the White House can command executive branch agencies like the departments of Transportation and Agriculture to take action, the order styles its directions as “suggestions” to avoid the appearance the administration is inappropriately seeking to direct independent agencies like the FCC or FTC. That could avoid the kind of blowback that Trump faced when he pressed both agencies to crack down on social media companies.
Meanwhile, the GOP screws around with CRT, Dr. Seuss, insignificant outrage du jours, and staying stuck in fantasies about the 2020 election. The Democratic Party is making real differences in people's lives and they will remember that far more than some chicken little clowns on Twitter.

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