Tech legislation's 2022 scorecard

Coverage Type: 

A bevy of proposals to limit Big Tech firms' power gave up their last gasp as Congress released the text of its year-end spending bill. But the following major tech-related bills, including two that supporters were fiercely pushing for, failed to make it in:

  • The Open App Markets Act would have forced Apple and Google to give app developers more rights in their app stores, including the ability to "side-load" apps directly onto phones, surpassing approval and a commission charge.
  • The Kids Online Safety Act would have required platforms to guard kids from harmful content using new features and safeguards and to make privacy settings "on" by default for children.

Only a few pieces of notable legislation related to tech and telecommunications made it to the finish line:

  • A provision to ban TikTok on government devices.
  • A version of the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, which raises the cost of merger filing fees for transactions of $5 billion or more, was included, though the boost in funds won't be allocated until 2024.
  • The INFORM Act, aimed at deterring online sales of counterfeit and stolen goods and supported by companies like Amazon and Etsy.
  • The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), passed a year ago, allocated $65 million for broadband internet deployment.

 The threat of new rules in the US, combined with an increasingly onerous regulatory environment in Europe, has companies re-thinking their policies around competitors, children's privacy, algorithmic transparency, and more.

Tech legislation's 2022 scorecard