Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has been named vice chair of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law.
Chennai-born Jayapal, 55, from the Democratic Party, will oversee the subcommittee’s urgent work on antitrust, big tech, reining in anti-competitive behaviour, helping prevent monopolistic practices, protecting a free press, and allowing innovation to thrive.
Ms Jayapal, the only Indian-American woman in the House of Representatives, has been a leading voice on the committee, where she most recently played an active role in conducting America”s first major congressional antitrust investigation in decades, a media release said.
“I am honoured to lead the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law at a pivotal moment in which we must write the next chapter of antitrust law,” Jayapal said in a statement.
“That’s how we will finally hold dominant tech platforms accountable while advocating for workers, stopping hate and misinformation, and protecting a free press,” she said.
“By reasserting the power of Congress and using our historic investigation as a roadmap, we will continue the work necessary to rein in anti-competitive behaviour, help prevent monopolistic practices, protect local and independent journalism, and allow innovation to thrive,” Jayapal said on Wednesday.
In July, Jayapal questioned the CEOs of three dominant tech platforms.
She asked former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about how the tech giant uses third party seller data. She also questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on how the social networking giant harvests and monetises user data and then utilizes it to copy, acquire, and kill rivals, the media release said.
Additionally, Jayapal asked Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai about the company”s total control of the ad market as the owner of the market, the ad buyer, and the ad seller, which has harmful effects on the local and independent journalism necessary for our democracy to thrive.
The hearing was part of the Antitrust Subcommittee’s more than 16-month investigation into the state of competition in the digital economy.
“I can say conclusively that self-regulation by Big Tech comes at the expense of our communities, small businesses, consumers, the free press, and innovation,” she said after the investigation”s findings were released in October.
In December, Jayapal was elected as the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), making her one of the most powerful US lawmakers in the 117th Congress.