Bannon pushing for tougher regulations on Facebook, Google: report

Bannon pushing for tougher regulations on Facebook, Google: report
© Greg Nash

Stephen Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, has been pushing for regulating internet companies like Facebook and Google as public utilities, according to a report in The Intercept published Thursday.

The news outlet cited three unnamed sources who have spoken to Bannon about the internet giants. They said Bannon believes that Facebook and Google have become so essential to internet users that they should be regulated like natural monopolies.

ADVERTISEMENT
The debate over how much the government should crack down on internet companies has received renewed attention as the Federal Communications Commission moves to repeal the Obama-era net neutrality rules. The rules subject internet service providers to utility-style regulation and require them to treat all web traffic equally.

And some believe that web-based companies should be given similar treatment to prevent them from abusing their power over their own networks.

Google has been facing scrutiny from the European Union over its practices. Last month, the company was hit with a record antitrust fine of $2.7 billion for favoring its own comparison-shopping service in its search results.