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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Microsoft wasn't the target of House lawmakers' Big Tech antitrust investigation, but the company may still find itself ensnared by the resulting legislation.

Why it matters: Whether Microsoft, or other large platforms, would be subject to the bipartisan House bills provides an early look at the thorny questions the conditions of the legislation will pose for antitrust enforcers.

What's happening: Antitrust subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline told the Axios Re:Cap podcast, "I don't know whether Microsoft would meet the test that is set forth in these five bills."

  • He noted that the committee's antitrust investigation centered on four companies — Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — that have "tremendous market dominance" that meets the tests set forth in the bills.
  • "There are likely others, and they certainly won't be the only ones forever," Cicilline said.

Details: The bills apply to companies that have a market capitalization of $600 billion or more and at least 50 million monthly active US users or 100,000 monthly active U.S. business users.

  • The companies must also function as a "critical trading partner" for a sale or service offered on or directly related to the online platform.
  • It will be up to antitrust enforcers — including Lina Khan, the new chair of the Federal Trade Commission, an outspoken advocate of strong measures to rein in tech power — to determine which companies meet the threshold.

What they're saying: Microsoft pointed to an interview president Brad Smith gave to Bloomberg TV after the bills were introduced.

  • "There are aspects of the legislation that was introduced in the House last week that absolutely applies to Microsoft and many other companies," Smith said.
  • "There will be days when there are restrictions and I think we can get our minds around it. And there will be days when there are restrictions that we think go too far that undermine innovation, that basically undermine our ability to serve customers. It's all about balance and that usually takes a while to figure out."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jun 17, 2021 - Podcasts

House antitrust chair discusses the bills to bust up Big Tech

House lawmakers last week introduced a series of five bipartisan bills designed to curb the power of Big Tech, targeting Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google in all but name.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chair of the House antitrust committee and a sponsor on most of the bills, to learn how he plans to get these measures over the finish line. The congressman from Rhode Island also faces a slate of other priorities and in the wake of a spending package to bolster the U.S. tech sector’s ability to compete with China.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

CDC: Vaccinated people in COVID hotspots should resume wearing masks

CDC director Rochelle Walensky and top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci at a Senate HELP committee hearing. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance on Tuesday recommending that vaccinated people wear masks in indoor, public settings if they are in parts of the U.S. with substantial to high transmission, among other circumstances.

Why it matters: The guidance, a reversal from recommendations made two months ago, comes as the Delta variant continues to drive up case rates across the country. Millions of people in the U.S. — either by choice or who are ineligible — remain unvaccinated and at risk of serious infection.

Olympics medal tracker

Data: International Olympic Committee; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios