Monday 30 November 2020 9:06 pm

Biden urged to take on Big Tech amid lobbying fears

US president-elect Joe Biden has been urged to confront Big Tech amid concerns about the number of tech executives linked to the incoming administration.

Thirty-two advocacy groups today penned a letter to Biden urging him to hold companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon to account, arguing that their business practices harmed American consumers and the economy.

Read more: US election: Where do Trump and Biden stand on tech issues?

They also called on the newly-elected president to reject the influence of Big Tech on his administration.

Earlier this month Reuters reported that Biden had appointed more tech executives than tech critics to his transition team, sparking suggestions that his administration will take a favourable approach to Silicon Valley.

In the letter, the advocacy groups said executives, lobbyists and consultants working for or with tech firms should be kept out of the White House.

“We believe that your administration must confront the threats posed by the monopolistic Big Tech companies… however, we can only bring these companies to account if you do not rely on affiliates of these very companies to make up your government,” the letter said.

“We believe that eliminating the decades-old revolving door between Silicon Valley and your administration will only help your cause.”

The letter was signed by groups campaigning for consumer and labour rights, antitrust reform and progressive causes, including Public Citizen, American Economic Liberties Project, Open Markets Institute, and the Revolving Door Project.

Read more: High-profile tech founders back $111m London startup fund

It comes at a crucial time for the sector as authorities contemplate tougher regulation in a bid to curb alleged anti-competitive practices.

Silicon Valley has already tapped into UK politics in a bid to bolster its political sway. In 2018 Facebook hired former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as its head of global affairs and communications.

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