House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee Proposal Calls For Competition Policy Changes That Take Aim At Tech Companies, Consumers 

BY Heather Greenfield
October 6, 2020

Washington — House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee chairman David Cicilline has released a Democratic-only proposal targeting several popular tech companies. The recommendations include introducing amendments to the current antitrust system that would not benefit consumers.  Republicans have released a separate Report not supporting some of the most radical democratic recommendations such as mandates to structurally separate some tech companies or prohibit them from acquiring start-ups.

CCIA President Matt Schruers testified at the first in the series of antitrust hearings Chairman Cicilline has held over the past two years. 

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has fought for competition in the tech industry since 1972 and has appreciated the role of antitrust regulators in reining in problems when companies have engaged in abusive behavior. The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“As an organization advocating for a competitive tech industry for nearly 50 years, we appreciate the House Judiciary Committee’s efforts to better understand the digital economy.

“If the goal is simply to knock down successful U.S. businesses, then perhaps this plan would score a hit. But if the goal is to benefit consumers, which has until now been the standard for antitrust policy, it is hard to see how this would do anything but invite regulators to micromanage business models.”

“As countries from Europe to India and China ramp up their own tech sector to drive economic recovery from the pandemic, proposals to saddle competitive US companies with heavy regulation seem shortsighted and risky.”

“New rules specific to a handful of prominent U.S. digital services won’t necessarily create an industry of equally dynamic small companies: it could instead hobble U.S. leadership and cede ground to foreign competitors.” 

“Some of the proposals are downright radical, and are controversial even among the committee itself. The suggestion to resurrect long-repealed Depression-era financial regulations and apply them to Internet companies is neither feasible nor beneficial for consumers.”

For media inquiries, please contact Heather Greenfield hgreenfield@ccianet.org

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