Experts warn Big Tech antitrust bills could 'shackle innovation and hurt consumers'
Antitrust legislation faces pushback from tech industry
Rep. Ro Khanna, member of the House Armed Services Committee, calls for more thoughtful antitrust legislation. He argues that there is a ‘lack of knowledge’ on the subject within Congress.
As bipartisan lawmakers push antitrust bills targeting Big Tech companies, experts are warning that the legislation could potentially harm innovation and consumers.
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, led by Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., began to mark up a package of six bills designed to rein in the power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google by prohibiting tech behemoths from acquiring promising startups that could later become potential rivals, among other things.
As the House Judiciary Committee votes on the package of bills, however, experts are warning of the unintended consequences of passing such sweeping antitrust legislation.
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"Bills under review, as currently drafted, would condemn outright specified business practices and acquisitions by big digital platforms, without any inquiry into the facts on hand," former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) general counsel and Mercatus Center senior research fellow Alden Abbott said in a Thursday statement. "As such, they would outlaw and disincentivize a great deal of behavior that may benefit consumers and drive innovation."
He added that the bills would "turn enforcers into regulators," which would slow innovation and spawn "economic inefficiency, to the detriment of the American economy."