(HorizonPost.com) – There is a bipartisan bill in the Senate labeled the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, and it was written to stop online platforms from pushing their own products. It would tighten antitrust laws against Big Tech firms and go so far as to break up Big Tech. This would give Chinese companies the advantage to dominate the digital arena. The bill already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, but some legislators say they won’t vote to pass the legislation unless some big adjustments are made.
Problems with the American Innovation and Choice Online Act
A report from The Hill points out that according to some key lawmakers and prominent tech leaders, the bipartisan proposal will weaken America’s technology position in the world and hand the power directly to China. They claim pushing antitrust laws would put the United States at a disadvantage if cyber conflicts with Russia or China arise.
Chief economist at the Progressive Policy Institute, Michael Mandel, said America should not dismantle its tech superpowers while “fighting a tech war.” In addition, the US Chamber of Commerce spoke out with concerns about the bill stating the act would force US tech companies to compete against non-regulated Chinese companies like TikTok’s ByteDance with “one hand tied behind their backs.”
Worries over the bill seemed to be present across the board, including former national security officials, lobbyists from the tech companies themselves, and the Computer and Communications Industry Association.
Some Democrats don’t seem convinced about the potential long-term problems resulting from the passage of the legislation and still support the bill. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) also want to see the bill advance, although they did make suggestions for changes to the legislation. However, with the Senate soon to be busy with discussions about the replacement for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, it may be a while before members of Congress dive into the specifics of the bill.
Some feel time is of the essence, considering they claim there are basically five tech companies monopolizing the digital space across America when there could be hundreds or thousands, ultimately helping consumers with choices.
While it may be important to foster positive competition in the marketplace and legislate against the formation of monopolies, many argue it’s also important for lawmakers to be careful not to accomplish the task to the detriment of the United States citizens or its national security. What do you think? Is it possible to put Big Tech in its place and protect national security at the same time?
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