By Dana Mattioli and Ryan Tracy 

House lawmakers are preparing to propose bipartisan legislation that could require Inc. and other technology giants to effectively split into two companies or shed their private-label products, according to people familiar with the matter and documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The bill, which the people said could be announced Friday, could mandate structural separation of Amazon and other technology giants that Congress spent 15 months investigating as part of an inquiry into the size and power of Big Tech. Another bill that also could be announced Friday targets the ability of big tech companies to leverage their online platforms to favor their own products over competitors.

Each of the bills has both Republicans and Democrats signed onto it, with more expected to join once they are announced, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Called the "Ending Platform Monopolies Act," a draft of the proposed structural separation bill reviewed by the Journal says: "It shall be unlawful for a covered platform operator to own or control a line of business, other than the covered platform, when the covered platform's ownership or control of that line of business gives rise to an irreconcilable conflict of interest." That language could change in the bill's final draft.

The proposed legislation would need to be passed by the Democratic-controlled House as well as the Senate, where it would likely also need substantial Republican support. While Republicans are concerned about tech companies' power, many are skeptical about changing antitrust laws.

The proposed bills are among five bills under consideration that aim to curb the dominance of tech giants including Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google in addition to Amazon. The other bills target issues such as data portability and the ability of large companies to conduct acquisitions that pose a competitive threat.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 11, 2021 11:09 ET (15:09 GMT)

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