PPI Statement on Senate Anti-Tech Bill

Today, a bipartisan group of Senators, led by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), announced the imminent introduction of an antitrust bill aimed at a handful of America’s most successful technology companies. The bill, mirroring similarly misguided proposals in the House, would do irreparable damage to the digital ecosystem that has put America in the vanguard of high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship.

Lindsay Mark Lewis, Executive Director of the Progressive Policy Institute, released the following statement:

“The antitrust legislation sponsored by Senator Klobuchar will do more harm than good to American families who rely on digital shopping, commerce, and communication every day. Though this bill is trumpeted as bipartisan, the reality is that it is just as radical and far-reaching as the House Judiciary Committee bills led by extremists like Rep. Matt Gaetz and lobbied for by Fox News’s parent company News Corp.

“If passed, this bill would weaken America’s ability to compete with China and undercut what has been robust job creation in the high-growth tech and e-commerce industries. Technology and e-commerce companies are major investors in communities and local economies throughout the United States, and as PPI has documented, have provided the most substantial job growth in recent years — including during the pandemic.

“In polling battleground voters across America, we found no public groundswell for breaking up or drastically regulating U.S. technology companies. In fact, just three percent of voters identified changing the way tech companies operate as a top economic priority. When asked about the impact these proposals could have on our everyday relationship with products like Amazon Prime and Marketplace or Google Maps and other Google apps, a strong majority opposed the potential impact of these bills.

“Since 1996, Congress has mostly taken a pragmatic approach to regulating the digital economy, with the result that America is the world’s leader in high tech innovation. This bill reaches for the extreme remedy of breaking up companies whose products are highly valued by U.S. and global consumers, without solid evidence of consumer harm.

“As made evident by last week’s hearing focused on Facebook, there are clear threats to our democracy and the online marketplace posed by certain bad actors to address. These abuses should — and can be — targeted with smart regulation tailored carefully to specific problems. The bills introduced in Congress would not do this, nor would they tackle concentration and competition issues in the U.S. economy. Instead, they are designed to score points with far-left and far-right activists and go to the extreme.”

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