Ashley Baker, director of public policy at the Committee for Justice, meanwhile argued that antitrust “shouldn’t be weaponized to correct problems that have nothing to do with competition law.” “Very little of the hearing was focused on antitrust, but was rather a mishmash of unrelated concerns about technology and tech companies,” Baker told The Epoch Times. “That’s not to say that all of these concerns are invalid, but they are not antitrust problems.” In a letter for the record on the hearing, Baker and other conservative and free-market leaders argued that “weaponizing antitrust for broader socioeconomic purposes would fundamentally alter the primary goal of antitrust, undermine the rule of law, and negatively impact consumers.”
Several conservative groups are concerned that the right’s fury at Big Tech was channeled improperly toward support for antitrust enforcement and want to steer it toward different policy goals. More than a dozen conservative groups formed a new “Alliance on Antitrust” to dampen the populist antitrust movement’s momentum.
We would like to emphasize the need to distinguish between the proper and improper uses of antitrust in approaching discussions of market power, and are concerned that today’s hearing could lead to the use of antitrust to address concerns surrounding online content moderation, data privacy, equality, or other socio-political issues that are unrelated to the competitive process.
The Alliance on Antitrust officially launches today, the same day the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook are set to testify in a major antitrust hearing. The new group brings together more than a dozen right-of-center groups and individuals and is spearheaded by the Committee for Justice, a Republican group that promotes conservative judicial nominees.
America’s technology companies have created huge gains for consumers, developing networks and products that connect the world in ways that were inconceivable just 20 years ago. Yet this progress has not been without its critics. The dominance of large platforms has led to concerns about the harmful effects of lock-in and path dependency, with many arguing the technology sector is unique and requires new approaches to antitrust policy. In particular, it is argued that the consumer welfare standard that guides American antitrust policy is ineffective for regulating Big Tech. Yet with the lack of demonstrable consumer harm, would increased government interventions improve the market?
Please join the Committee for Justice and Innovation Defense Foundation for a discussion of this important issue in advance of the House Judiciary Committee's hearing, "Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 6: Examining the Dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google," with industry CEOs.
Committee for Justice president Curt Levey issued the following statement:
Washington, D.C. -- The Committee for Justice decided to get involved in this case because several of the issues at stake – including overcriminalization, fair notice, the rule of lenity, and the federal-state balance in criminal law – are at the heart of CFJ's mission of promoting the rule of law and preserving the Constitution's limits on federal power and its protection of individual liberty.
While the language of the CFAA is arguably ambiguous, the government's reading, which would make it a crime merely to access a computer or the internet for an unauthorized purpose, cannot be correct. As our...
Op-ed by Committee for Justice President Curt Levey in the Washington Post: At least for the moment, the conservative dream of a solid majority on the Supreme Court is dead. The trio of recent votes by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. siding with the court’s four liberal justices shows that Roberts has gone full Kennedy — that is, following in the disappointingly centrist footsteps of previous swing justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
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