Senate antitrust panel announces round of hearings

Senate antitrust panel announces round of hearings
© Greg Nash

The top two lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust on Thursday announced a set of three hearings scheduled for the summer.

Subcommittee Chair Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation | Amazon fined 6M by EU regulators Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation Bill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol MORE (D-Minn.) and ranking member Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet House GOP stages mask mandate protest 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Utah) are two key figures in attempts to turn the appetite for antitrust reform, especially with regards to Big Tech, into policy. 

The first hearing will focus on “competition concerns” in the world of smart home technologies, which have exploded in popularity over the last few years.

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Concentration in the market is already being scrutinized by the European Commission, which opened an investigation into the broader "Internet of Things" — simply understood as devices connected to the internet — last summer. 

Google’s role in particular in the smart speaker market has been mentioned as an antitrust concern in lawsuits filed against the Silicon Valley giant by state attorneys general. 

The second hearing will focus on consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry while the final of the trio will cover food supply competition issues.