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Hawley cited Candy Crush as an example of "pay to win" games. Photo: Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) will propose banning "pay to win" features in some video games, as well as certain in-game "loot boxes," in upcoming legislation first announced on Wednesday.

The bottom line: These bans would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general. It would target games for children under 18 and games with a wide user base but "whose developers knowingly allow minor players to engage in microtransactions," per Hawley's press release.

Details: The FTC would treat the distribution of games with "pay to win" features and "loot boxes" as an "unfair trade practice," Hawley's office said.

  • Hawley said game developers "shouldn't be able to monetize addiction" in children and highlighted the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act as a baseline guide for the bill.

Go deeper: How loot boxes hooked gamers and left regulators spinning

Go deeper

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.

U.S. Chamber decides against political ban for Capitol insurrection

A pedestrian passes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters as it undergoes renovation. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed Friday it won't withhold political donations from lawmakers who simply voted against certifying the presidential election results and instead decide on a case-by-case basis.

Why it matters: The Chamber is the marquee entity representing businesses and their interests in Washington. Its memo, obtained exclusively by Axios, could set the tone for businesses debating how to handle their candidate and PAC spending following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

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