Rep. Ken Buck: Big Tech's monopoly powers must be broken up – conservatives should support antitrust reform

All six bills have one thing in common: they take on Big Tech’s market dominance that allows them to throttle small businesses, limit consumer choice, and stifle conservative speech online. 

The pro-monopoly lobbyists representing Big Tech are telling Republican members of Congress that these antitrust reform bills will hurt small businesses and limit consumer choice. 

Don’t let them fool you. 

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These bills were preceded by ten hearings at which many small businesses that make a living online testified. At those hearings, the small businesses brave enough to testify against the tech titans told members Congress about the ordeals they face trying to get a fair shake from platforms like Apple, Amazon, and Google. 

Amazon was the poster child in this regard.  As documented in last year’s Majority, Minority, and Third Way reports on competition in digital markets, Amazon has 2.3 million active third-party sellers on its marketplace worldwide, and a recent survey estimates that about 37% of them—about 850,000 sellers—rely on Amazon as their sole source of income. 

The report found that Amazon’s conflict of interest as both a seller and host to competitive third-party sellers has created serious challenges for these small businesses. The report concluded “Amazon has engaged in extensive anticompetitive conduct in its treatment of third-party sellers. Publicly, Amazon describes third-party sellers as ‘partners.’ But internal documents show that behind closed doors, the company refers to them as ‘internal competitors.’” 

American consumers agree that it is time for Congress to act.  Recent polling shows that most Americans support this legislation, and they do so across party lines. 

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Eighty-six percent of Americans no longer trust Big Tech and 57% of them even support breaking up the Big Tech monopolies. 

American consumers may appreciate some of the conveniences brought to them by Big Tech, but they also know that these conveniences come at a steep price. That price includes a lack of competition and consumer choice online. 

Just as we moved beyond Henry Ford’s mantra that we “can have any color car, so long as it’s black” so too can we move beyond having one search engine and one social media platform. 

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