Democrats Draft Bill to Get Big Tech Out of Finance

The Democratic majority on the House Financial Services Committee unveiled a draft bill Monday aimed at getting big tech firms out of financial services (via Reuters). The bill appeared concerned with Facebook’s forthcoming Libra cryptocurrency.

Keep Big Tech Out of Finance

The Bill makes no bones about who and what it is targeting. Called “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” the Act said:

A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

The politicians targeted firms that make over $25 billion in annual revenue with the law. They proposed a $1 million per day fine for any firm that violates the rules.

Consequence for Apple

Clearly, this would cover Facebook. However, it is less clear if it would cover Apple, as the company moves further into financial services.  Apple is moving into fintech with expansion over Apple Pay and the recent announcement of Apple Card. I do not see how, at this stage, any of those tools would qualify as a “medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value” or similar. As noted on Cult of Mac, Apple is not proposing launching a currency or anything resembling one. However, I have no doubt the company will be keeping on eye on how this develops.

4 thoughts on “Democrats Draft Bill to Get Big Tech Out of Finance

  • The Secret Service website tells you plainly. Its first obligation is to protect the American finance industry, second obligation is to protect the President.

    There is no higher priority than the American finance industry. NONE.

    So far Apple has played nice, building partnerships with credit card companies and banks. This has compromised user’s privacy – credit card companies still sell users’ data, even if Apple doesn’t… But you can see Apple gosh-darn-it (ing) its way to becoming a bank or a credit card company… for reasons of privacy. Watch this space. Apple is after all an American company and might someday qualify for sentence 2 of this comment.

  • As long as it doesn’t turn out to be stealth legislation to protect the big bankster’s turf, I’m all for it. This is a House legislative proposal, but the moment Schumer gets on the bandwagon, we should all be vigilant and guard against his doing his Wall Street masters’ bidding. Again.

  • Apple may have to worry about this as the quote above includes “… store of value…”. Apple Pay Cash is already a store of value. Perhaps they are OK as the Apple Pay Cash site says the cash transaction are services provided by Green Dot Bank.

    I wonder what this means for other “credits” like x-box in-game credits. If they can be shared, then they become like currency?

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