October 7, 2021
Some left-wing politicians are attempting to convince conservatives that weaponizing antitrust law is the solution to legitimate anger over Big Tech censorship. In reality, such politicians are not acting in good faith, and these bills would increase the political and government abuse of conservatives.
Even though the left labels this effort as “antitrust reform,” these bills are hardly antitrust bills. They are regulatory bills that give Biden bureaucrats sweeping new power to reshape the economy in service of their progressive social agenda.
We urge you to reject any proposal that politicizes antitrust law or gives unelected bureaucrats even more power to control the economy.
The Senate legislation follows a package of six antitrust bills spearheaded by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and reported out of the House Judiciary Committee in June.
The Cicilline package targets so-called “covered platforms” with over 50 million users and market capitalization/net sales of over $600 billion. As soon as a company has the audacity to grow larger than this government-determined size, it gets whacked with a slew of onerous new regulations.
One bill would allow the government to break up targeted companies that operate a business line that a bureaucrat deems to be a “conflict of interest.” Another would prevent targeted companies from selling or providing private-label products in their marketplaces, depriving shoppers of products they value at a lower cost than name-brand products.
An additional bill would ban targeted companies from making any new mergers and acquisitions, choking off a critical pathway to success for innovative startups. To keep track of all these new restrictions, another bill sets up secret government committees to monitor the activities of each targeted company.
Clearly, none of these bills address conservative censorship concerns. Instead, the package is a brazen power grab that gives Biden bureaucrats sweeping new authority to regulate the economy. While these bills are clearly geared towards the technology sector, the left wants to regulate every industry “from cat food to caskets.” This is just the beginning.
If these bills became law, companies fearful of abusive antitrust litigation would pull punches when competing with rival firms, robbing shoppers of the low prices and best choices that open competition delivers. Putting innovative American companies in a Mother-May-I relationship with the government would squash innovation and kill economic growth as we dig out from the pandemic.
Conservatives have long believed that antitrust law should be a scalpel used to rectify consumer harm, not a sledgehammer that bureaucrats and trial lawyers can use to advance their progressive social agenda. The left’s antitrust “reforms” would do just that.
As negotiations continue on a Senate antitrust package, we urge you to reject any legislation that politicizes antitrust law or gives the Biden administration even more power. Doing so would harm shoppers, stunt economic growth, and increase political abuse of conservatives.
President, Americans for Tax Reform
President, American Commitment
Brent Wm. Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity
President, American Business Defense Council
Chair, Annapolis Center Right Coalition Meeting
Robert H. Bork Jr.
President, Antitrust Education Project
Founder and Chairman, 60 Plus Association
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
President, 60 Plus Association
Andrew F. Quinlan
President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Director of the Center for Technology and Innovation, Competitive Enterprise Institute
President, Citizens Outreach (Nevada)
Executive Director, Digital Liberty
President, Independent Women's Forum
Heather R. Higgins
CEO, Independent Women's Voice
Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Institute for Economic Freedom
President, Institute for Policy Innovation
Dr. J. Robert McClure
President & CEO, James Madison Institute
Rodolfo E. Milani
Founder & Chairman, Miami Freedom Forum
Former Speaker, NH House of Representatives
Co-chair, New Hampshire Center Right Coalition
Executive Director, Ohioans for Tax Reform
Executive Director, Open Competition Center
Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance
Director of Technology & Innovation, R Street Institute
CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Executive Director, Shareholder Advocacy Forum
President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Chair, SWFL Center Right Coalition
Vice President of Policy, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
President, Utah Taxpayers Association
Executive Director, Young Voices