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In this screenshot taken from a congress.gov webcast, House Impeachment manager Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) speaks on the fifth day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on February 13 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Handout/Getty Images

Drafts of bills about tech competition and antitrust, likely to be introduced by leaders of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee soon, are circulating among Washington policy circles.

Why it matters: When the bills are formally introduced, it will be the next step in the subcommittee's antitrust investigation, which last year resulted in a sweeping report (along with a separate report from ranking antitrust member Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado) recommending changes to antitrust law to better keep up with the digital age.

Details: Five draft bills obtained by Axios address interoperability, self-preferencing a company's own services and features, an update to merger fees and more money for the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, limiting Big Tech acquisitions and separating platforms from sellers.

  • The bills seen by Axios are discussion drafts and may be introduced by the committee when they are finalized, but the timing is still unclear.
  • The draft text generally reflects ideas committee leaders have discussed in hearings and include areas where Democrats and Republicans on the committee have said they can find agreement.

Yes, but: House Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio has generally been wary of aggressive antitrust action, despite his anti- Big Tech stance.

Flashback: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), leader of the antitrust subcommittee, previously told Axios he planned on introducing a series of bills, with the intention of making them harder for the tech industry to lobby against and ultimately sink.

What to watch: Industry supporters are likely to see the bills as an overreach that will hurt businesses and consumers, while proponents of breaking up Big Tech and reforming antitrust law will welcome them.

Go deeper

How the U.S. got boxed in on privacy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The federal government's failure to craft a national privacy law has left it to be squeezed on the issue by the EU on one side and California on the other.

Why it matters: Companies are stuck trying to navigate the maze of EU and state laws, while legislators in Washington have no choice but to use those laws as de facto standards.

3,000 unruly passenger reports made to FAA this year

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Airlines have reported some 3,000 cases of unruly behavior by passengers to the Federal Aviation Administration this year — including 2,300 for refusing to comply with face mask mandates, the FAA announced Monday.

Why it matters: Passenger numbers remain below pre-pandemic levels. But the FAA is investigating the highest number of suspected federal law violations since it began recording unruly passenger incidents in 1995, per ABC News.

House panel to investigate Trump-era DOJ data seizures

Photo: James Devaney via Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee will launch a formal probe into the Trump-era Justice Department's seizure of data from devices belonging to members of Congress, their aides, journalists and then-White House counsel, panel chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced Monday.

Why it matters: Though it's so far unclear if the cases are related, they raise "serious constitutional and separation of power concerns," Nadler said in a statement.

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