Washington, D.C (07/28/2022) – Recently, there have been reports in the media that Senator Amy Klobuchar’s bill, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992), will not be brought to a floor vote before the August recess:
- Axios: Congress’ push to regulate Big Tech is fizzling out
- Bloomberg: Senate’s Antitrust Crackdown Sputters as Schumer Signals Doubts
- Reuters: U.S. senator seeks passage of Big Tech antitrust bill as time runs short
- The Washington Post: Fate of lawmakers’ tech antitrust push is up in the air
Here are 6 good reasons why S. 2992 isn’t being given any floor time:
- S. 2992 Lacks 60 Votes – Bloomberg reports that, according to Sen. Schumer, S. 2992 doesn’t have enough votes to pass the Senate. Additionally, the Washington Post reported earlier this month that a large number of senators remain undecided about how they will vote on S. 2992. Several senators have cited concerns about the bill’s current form, like Senator Mike Lee of Utah who said he is “deeply worried” about the “unintended consequences” of S. 2992.
- S. 2992 Lacks Voter Support – S. 2992 isn’t a voter priority. Several recent polls demonstrate voters don’t support S. 2992. Most Americans want Congress to focus on fixing inflation and strengthening the economy, and voters are less likely to support candidates who vote to pass S. 2992.
- Consumer Inconvenience – S. 2992 would break popular, free digital services like Google Maps and Google Search and raise prices for services like Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping. According to the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, S. 2992’s removal of so-called self preferencing means a company like Amazon “could not prioritize its own lower-cost products over…competitors. For consumers, this likely means they will be denied easy access to the cheapest products available, forcing them to pay more.”
- Content Moderation Issues – Four Democratic senators wrote a letter to Senator Klobuchar asking her to address their concerns regarding content moderation issues in S.2992, which they said would weaken a platform’s ability to apply community guidelines and remove hate speech and misinformation. According to the letter, this “would supercharge harmful content online and make it more difficult to combat.” To date, Senator Klobuchar has not made the changes to S. 2992 needed to gain their support.
- Privacy Concerns – S. 2992 weakens cybersecurity protections and data privacy for American consumers. Right now, online platforms can remove harmful software that compromises user date. According to The App Association, S. 2992 “would essentially prohibit software platforms from removing bad actors,” making consumers less likely to download applications from smaller companies without public profiles and hurting the marketplace.
- National Security – S. 2992 harms our national security framework. A letter to Congress signed by several prominent national security officials noted that House and Senate antitrust bills would “damage the capability of U.S. technology companies to roll out integrated security tools…weakening security measures…in device and platform operating systems.” It would also make it harder for U.S. companies to compete with state-owned companies in countries like China and Russia.
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