The order, which the White House says will include "72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies," calls on both the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to issue new restrictions on and rules to govern the tech sector.
It calls on the FTC, in particular, to establish new rules governing data collection by big tech companies, as well as rules "barring unfair methods of competition on internet marketplaces." The FTC's new chair, Lina Khan, has been one of the tech sector's fiercest critics on the topic of antitrust and has also written about the privacy harms caused by data-driven advertising.
The order will also ask the FCC to limit the ability of internet service providers to sign exclusive deals with landlords, which prevent tenants from seeking out competitive offers. Biden is also requesting that the FCC "limit excessive early termination fees," restore net neutrality protections and require ISPs to publicly report their pricing information.
While these changes will all require agency participation, the most immediate change affecting the tech industry is the order's adoption of a broad administrative policy of "greater scrutiny of mergers," the fact sheet said. This order would make it U.S. policy to analyze the effect of Big Tech mergers on small competitors, privacy and the ability of tech giants to amass data. It would also take into account the effect that even free products have on competition, a shift in approach for antitrust policy which has traditionally focused on anticompetitive companies pushing higher costs onto consumers.
The order also takes aim at other industries, including health care, banking and transportation.