The ideas reflect many of the recommendations made last October in a House judiciary report led by Representative David Cicilline, a member of the Rhode Island Democratic Party. But her bill will not include provisions to shorten past mergers and other structural reforms, as his report recommended.
Her bill, like other proposed laws to limit the power of tech companies, will face stiff opposition. By 2020, tech companies will spend more than other industries in Washington. Facebook, with lawsuits from federal and state enforcement officials, spent nearly $ 20 million on lobbying, up 18 percent from the previous year. Amazon spent about $ 18 million on lobbying, up about 11% from the previous year.
Internet startups are also wary of regulations that could hamper their exit strategy for merging with larger companies, as well as changes to the rules that could hold them accountable. about the content they host. And agriculture, pharmaceuticals and other industries may also be in trouble with the changes in antitrust laws.
But the Democrats are also facing pressure from the left. Progressive groups, and some liberal lawmakers, want to demolish the biggest companies. In recent weeks, these groups have raised concerns about some potential candidates for top antitrust agency roles, who they deem not strong enough to fight the industry.
Sarah Miller, the executive director of the US Economic Freedom Project, left a non-profit advocacy group leaning against corporate power. “We won’t be afraid to push bolder approaches when the need arises.”
Ms. Klobuchar said fresh outrage over the role of social media in the January 6 attack on the Capitol unified lawmakers in their hatred of digital platforms. , but for different reasons. Democrats are angry that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have allowed President Donald J. Trump and far-right groups to spread false information about the election that led to riots. Republicans were motivated by decisions of platforms to stop Mr. Trump and his far-right supporters.
Representative Ken Buck, a Colorado Republican and a senior member of the House antitrust subcommittee, said he would work with Democrats on the law, more hearings and investigations on the field. technology sector.