WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee finished its marathon markup of six bills focused on reshaping antitrust laws that directly impact big technology companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google - and possibly other companies.
Congressman Cliff Bentz, who participated in the two-day, 25-hour markup, offered several amendments to the bills and voiced his concerns that the technology giants need more congressional oversight. However, Bentz stopped short of supporting the bills on the premise that the legislation would do far more harm than good to consumers and technological innovation.
"I appreciate the efforts of those who tried to address the challenges of 'big tech,' of which there are many. Unfortunately, these bills equate to opting for a sledgehammer instead of a scalpel," said Bentz. "Collectively, these bills would harm American consumers and innovation by instituting a government engineered industry policy – which is exactly what we do not want. Allowing this to happen would set the precedent that government can make major business decisions not just for large technology firms but for other businesses as well."
One of the amendments offered by Bentz during the markup passed with bipartisan support (22-21). His amendment to H.R. 3816, the “American Choice and Innovation Online Act,” will make the legislation much more supportive of both consumers and innovation.
According to Bentz, "The language in my amendment ensures that businesses can continue to defend against allegations of anticompetitive behavior when such actions are shown, through clear and convincing evidence, to benefit consumers. My amendment reinforces the concept that we need to be focused on helping consumers not big business, and I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting it."
All six bills passed out of the Judiciary Committee and will go to the House floor for a vote. To read more about each bill, click here.