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Biden signs sweeping executive order aimed at cutting down monopolies in tech, healthcare

President Joe Biden
Posted at 10:24 AM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 14:07:47-04

President Joe Biden on Friday signed an executive order aimed at regulating the anti-competitive behavior of large technology and healthcare companies.

The order Biden signed includes 72 actions that the White House says "will lower prices for families, increase wages for workers, and promote innovation and even faster economic growth.

The calls on the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to better enforce antitrust laws and encourage them to challenge "bad mergers" that limited competition in the marketplace — particularly in the labor, agricultural, healthcare and technology markets.

Biden's order also establishes a White House Competition Council to monitor the progress on those changes. That council will be led by Brian Deese, the current head of the National Economic Council.

The White House says the order takes the following actions:

  • Boost job mobility by banning or limiting non-compete agreements
  • Lower prescription drug prices by supporting programs that import drugs from Canada
  • Allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter
  • Ban early termination fees on internet contracts between consumers and telecommunication companies
  • Make it easier to get refunds from airlines
  • Ban manufacturers from barring self-repairs or third-party repairs on their products
  • Make it easier for Americans to switch banks
  • Direct all federal agencies to promote greater competition in procurement and spending