Loading...

Antitrust Reforms Could Kill Competition

February 23, 2021 by Victoria Turner
Antitrust Reforms Could Kill Competition

Four panelists warned today that proposed legislative reforms for more aggressive antitrust enforcement in Big Tech would likely spill over across all industries, hindering innovation and harming consumers.

Strengthening the antitrust laws – federal and state statutes that restrict the formation of monopolies and prohibit dominant companies from abusing their market power – would deprive the public of the benefits of aggressive competition by putting business decisions further under the microscope of regulators, they said. 

Their remarks came during a NetChoice event, “The Bad Side of Breaking Up Big Tech,” the first of a monthly series the online businesses trade association will host to discuss different policy developments concerning the “Big Tech” firms – Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

One of the most prominent critics of current antitrust policy is Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who earlier this month introduced the antitrust reform bill that was a central focus of the panelists’ discussion. 

Her proposed bill, the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act, would seek a sweeping reform of antitrust laws. 

The legislation would shift the burden of proof in antitrust litigation to the companies charged by regulators with violating the competition laws.

Klobuchar’s bill would also increase funding of the antitrust agencies and ease restrictions around their ability to seek monetary penalties in court.  

But the current legal framework did have its defenders.

Asheesh Argawal, deputy general counsel at think tank TechFreedom said Congress should wait to see how current legal cases regulators have filed against Big Tech companies play out before making any dramatic changes to the law.

He also took aim at Klobuchar’s bill, which he said would diminish competition by increasing civil fines to a point that would deter investments in the tech industry.

Jennifer Huddleston, director of Tech and Innovation Policy at American Action Forum, an independent, center-right policy institute, was also critical of Klobuchar’s proposed reforms, saying they could cause companies to rethink planned mergers and acquisitions and prevent smaller, innovative companies from getting the lifelines they sometimes need to survive.

Huddleston also warned that while the current proposed antitrust reforms target the tech industry almost exclusively, their sweeping nature means they will have serious ramifications for all kinds of businesses, including those in the pharmaceutical, agriculture, and energy sectors, among others.

In The News

Health

Voting

Antitrust

US Case Against American Airlines and JetBlue Heads to Court

DALLAS (AP) — The government's antitrust lawsuit against American Airlines and JetBlue begins Tuesday and the outcome could determine how... Read More

DALLAS (AP) — The government's antitrust lawsuit against American Airlines and JetBlue begins Tuesday and the outcome could determine how closely the Biden administration examines other airline deals, including JetBlue's pending attempt to buy Spirit Airlines. The Justice Department and six states are suing American and... Read More

September 23, 2022
by Dan McCue
Straight Talk Between Klobuchar, Cruz Advances Senate Journalism Antitrust Bill 

WASHINGTON — It took two weeks of straight talk and negotiations, but in the end, a deal between Sens. Amy... Read More

WASHINGTON — It took two weeks of straight talk and negotiations, but in the end, a deal between Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, advanced what could prove to be a highly significant antitrust bill for the news media out of a Senate committee... Read More

September 19, 2022
by Dan McCue
Administrative Law Judge Dismisses Antitrust Charges Related to Cancer Detection Tests

WASHINGTON — An administrative law judge has dismissed an antitrust complaint brought against DNA sequencing provider Illumina, Inc. related to... Read More

WASHINGTON — An administrative law judge has dismissed an antitrust complaint brought against DNA sequencing provider Illumina, Inc. related to its proposed $7.1 billion acquisition of GRAIL, Inc., the major developer of a multi-cancer early detection test. The tests are noninvasive, early detection liquid biopsy tests... Read More

August 3, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
DC Attorney General Loses Again in Antitrust Claims Against Amazon

WASHINGTON — Washington, D.C.’s attorney general lost again Monday in an attempt to hold Amazon.com liable for alleged antitrust violations.... Read More

WASHINGTON — Washington, D.C.’s attorney general lost again Monday in an attempt to hold Amazon.com liable for alleged antitrust violations. Attorney General Karl A. Racine filed an anti-competition lawsuit last year that accused Amazon of unfair trade practices that included using overly restrictive contracts with businesses... Read More

July 28, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
Bipartisan Policy Center Digs Into Proposed Tech Antitrust Law

WASHINGTON — The proposed antitrust legislation aimed at large online companies in the Senate hinges on the courts to enforce... Read More

WASHINGTON — The proposed antitrust legislation aimed at large online companies in the Senate hinges on the courts to enforce the potential law to stop big online platforms from self-preferencing by placing their products and services first, which will open up platforms to more competition. While... Read More

June 2, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Amazon Ramps Up Criticism of Tough Antitrust Bill in Congress

WASHINGTON — Industry criticism of a tough antitrust bill to crack down on the market dominance of tech giants is... Read More

WASHINGTON — Industry criticism of a tough antitrust bill to crack down on the market dominance of tech giants is growing more shrill as it heads for a vote in Congress as soon as this month. The latest salvo was Wednesday, when an Amazon.com executive warned... Read More

News From The Well