The Digital Consumer Protection Commission Act Repeats the Problems of Past Failed “Antitrust Bills”

Washington, D.C. (08/4/23) – Senators Elizabeth Warren and Lindsey Graham recently unveiled the Digital Consumer Protection Commission Act (DCPCA), a bill that would create a new federal commission to regulate American tech companies. This legislation is the latest attempt to rehash failed arguments and cripple successful American tech companies that make the products and services consumers love. It also raises concerns about a new agency that can be used at the political whims of the power players of the day. 

Leading industry experts’ concerns about the DPCPA include: 

  • Matt Schruers, CCIA
    • “Building more bureaucracy won’t help the U.S. win the global innovation race against adversaries abroad. Technology is suffused throughout our economy and technology regulation touches a host of federal agencies – from health care to education to defense, and this bill would harm, not help, federal government efforts to ensure that new and existing technology products and services are safe and effective.”
  • Koustubh Bagchi, Chamber of Progress
    • “New bill, new agency, same old problems. This legislation takes some of the unpopular ideas that sank bills like AICOA and bundles them up under a new federal commission. The reality is consumers don’t want to ban Google Maps or break up Amazon Prime whether that’s under a new commission or an existing agency.”
  • Krista Chavez, NetChoice
    • “More government bureaucracy will merely handcuff America’s growth and waste even more of our tax dollars at a time that we can least afford it. Global competition is more fierce than ever. We cannot sacrifice American dominance – especially on technological development – because progressives want to dismantle the free market and control who is allowed to speak online…”

In the New York Times op-ed that Senators Graham and Warren wrote unveiling their plan, they note their intention to use the new commission to “promote free speech,” yet so far neither leading Democrats or Republicans on this issue have been able to agree on what role the U.S. government should play in arbitrating what lawful content Americans see online.”

Senator Warren has made clear her preference for empowering the government to determine what is permissible content online. Senator Graham notes that the commission will be used to determine what constitutes proper online content, saying, “We have a commission for securities…when it comes to social media, your privacy is at risk. Your content can be taken down because somebody doesn’t like you or what you’re saying. We need to have a system to deal with those problems.”

“As has been made clear with negotiations around the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, the devil is in the details regarding how and if to moderate online speech. This latest attempt – to simply hand the difficult work to a government commission comprised of individuals who are empowered by the administration of the day – is a dangerous proposition for free speech,” said Chandler Smith Costello, a spokesperson for the Don’t Break What Works campaign.

The Don’t Break What Works campaign is powered by the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA). Learn more here