Amy Klobuchar Looks to Further Antitrust Legislation Targeting Big Tech
Klobuchar is the incoming head of the Senate antitrust subcommittee. The Democratic majority Congress has been vocal about their disapproval of perceived monopolies. The new legislation would require companies that have large amounts of market share to prove potential acquisitions wouldn't "create an appreciable risk of materially lessening competition," according to a draft.
Republicans will most likely disapprove of the legislation. Klobuchar has brought up similar legislation during previous sessions in Congress when the Democrats did not have the majority. Now, Klobuchar hopes that the Democratic control of both houses will help her bill pass.
"We have an increasing monopoly problem, really headlined by what is happening with tech" but also extending across the economy, Ms. Klobuchar said. "Our laws have to be as sophisticated as those that are messing around with competition," she said.
This bill would cause issues for tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon which have been accused of monopolistic practices on several occasions.
Tech industry representatives are preparing to fight back as well. The App Association, a trade group representing small and midsize software companies, recently told lawmakers that barring big tech from acquisition practices would hurt smaller companies. "When a large company with deep pockets gets told by a regulator not to do certain things, they build walls, they don't build bridges," said Morgan Reed, president of the association.
The bill would give the antitrust division of the Justice Department a $484.5 million budget along with $651 million for the Federal Trade Commission. "You cannot take on trillion-dollar companies, the biggest companies the world has ever seen, with just Band-Aids and duct tape," Ms. Klobuchar said.