WASHINGTON — Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Executive Board called on Majority Leader Schumer to bring two antitrust bills, S. 2992 the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, and S. 2710 the Open App Markets Act, to a vote before August recess.
The two bipartisan bills take on abusive and anti-competitive practices by dominant online platforms that harm small businesses, consumers, and innovation. The bills would prohibit dominant online platforms from arbitrarily discriminating against competitors, rein in self-promotion of platforms’ own products over those of competitors, and ensure that consumers have access to competitive, fair app ecosystems.
The letter cites polling that found “that 76%-to-80% of voters in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire support” the Senate bills. “71% of voters in those states want their Senator to vote for this legislation. Polling of Republican primary voters…found that 73% of respondents believe Big Tech companies are not regulated enough…and between 81% and 85% support S. 2992 and S. 2710.”
The Senate bills are companions to House antitrust measures, which emerged as a result of a 16-month, bipartisan investigation by the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law. The investigation found clear regulatory gaps and a need for congressional intervention. As the lawmakers write: “A handful of dominant online platforms have become gatekeepers over digital markets, controlling other businesses’ access to customers and the tools that those businesses use to serve their customers…[T]hese platforms routinely abuse their gatekeeper power to hurt rivals and destroy competition.”
While the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights has similarly looked into these issues and “held numerous hearings in recent years on abuses by online gatekeepers,” the legislative solutions continue to languish in the Senate. The antitrust bills also represent a chance to advance an agenda supported by the Biden administration, with both the Departments of Justice and Commerce in support — critical at a time much of the President’s legislative priorities have been blocked.
“Regardless of ideology or party affiliation,” the lawmakers write, “Americans are concerned with the dominance and power of the largest technology companies, and they want Congress to act.” They emphasize “that each of these bills should be enacted as they address persistent and problematic conduct that harms consumers, competition, and innovation,” and urge Leader Schumer to schedule them for a vote before the Senate ends its legislative session in August.
Signatories of the letter are all members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Executive Board: Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Deputy Chair Katie Porter (CA-45), and Whip Ilhan Omar (MN-05); Chairs Emeriti Barbara Lee (CA-13), Mark Pocan (WI-02), and Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03); Executive Board Member At-Large Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Vice Chairs Joe Neguse (CO-02), Marie Newman (IL-03), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), David Cicilline (RI-01), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12); and Deputy Whips Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Andy Levin (MI-09), and Mark Takano (CA-41).
Executive Board Senate Antitrust Letter -
Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Executive Board call on Majority Leader Schumer to bring two antitrust bills, S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, and S. 2710, the Open App Markets Act, to a vote before August recess.