Antitrust Proposals “Aren’t The Answer,” Create “Unintended Consequences”;
Would “Blow Up” “Major Parts of the Internet” and
“Destroy Many of the Integrated Products Consumers Currently Enjoy”

What Commentators and Advocates Are Saying About the House Tech Antitrust Bills

Jun 14, 2021

Will Marshall, Progressive Policy Institute

“The bills are based on a tendentious and deeply flawed report by the House Antitrust Subcommittee. As the Progressive Policy Institute and other analysts have documented, the evidence supporting the report’s claims of systemic antitrust abuses is remarkably flimsy. It mostly consists of misleading anecdotes and alarmism about conjectural rather than actual harms.” (6/14/21)

Aurelien Portuese, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

“The bills presented by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) … will ultimately harm innovation and consumers. For instance, the prohibition of “conflict of interests” between a platform and its different lines of business disallows standard business practices both online and offline. Also, the prohibition of self-preferencing ignores fundamental economic liberties by forcing a platform to favor its own rivals.” (6/11/21)

The New Democrat Coalition

“We respectfully request you hold full legislative hearings on these specific bills to better understand their impacts and the intended and unintended consequences of the legislation.” (6/18/21)

Martin Peers, The Information

“Even if you agree big tech needs to be restrained, these proposals aren’t the answer…Rather than trying a massive restructuring of the industry, why not wait until the various antitrust investigations and lawsuits underway work their way through the system?” (6/11/21)

Will Marshall, Progressive Policy Institute

“There is no public groundswell for eviscerating the nation’s leading tech companies. On the contrary, they are highly popular with working and middle-class Americans — including swing voters in key battleground states that helped Biden win in 2020.” (6/14/21)

Issie Lapowsky, Protocol

Major parts of the internet would indeed blow up if these laws are enacted.” (6/14/21)

Leah Nylen, Politico

“The [bills] could bring big changes to some of the industry’s best-known products, from Amazon Prime and Google’s search results to Apple’s App Store and Facebook’s Messenger and Instagram. LinkedIn and Microsoft Office could even feel the bite.” (6/14/21)

Mike Masnick, TechDirt

“Think of [Cicilline’s bill] as the ‘Yelp Finally Forces Google To Use Yelp’s Listings Act’, because that’s the main driver behind this bill…[it] seems likely to create massive unintended consequences that won’t be very good for the internet. There are, after all, lots of cases where it makes quite a lot of sense for companies to link their ancillary products. Yet, here, doing so will almost definitively lead to a costly antitrust fight, meaning that it will be quite difficult for many companies to build useful complementary services. I don’t see how that benefits the public.” (6/11/21)

Alec Stapp, Progressive Policy Institute

“Radical measures such as line of business restrictions and bans on self-preferencing would destroy many of the integrated products consumers currently enjoy.  Apple would no longer be allowed to make its own apps (the iPhone would arrive out of the box with an empty home screen). Google would no longer be allowed to offer Google Maps on Android devices or use it to show map results in search. Amazon would no longer be allowed to offer generic goods at lower prices (just as Walmart, Costco, and every other large retailer do).” (6/11/21)