• Houston Republic

Antitrust bill will ‘empower and embolden progressives’ without protecting speech

Houston Republic: "An analysis of the bill by Ashley Baker, director of public policy at the Committee for Justice, a group that opposes the measure, shows that big-tech firms would neither be broken up, nor would they be prohibited from canceling speech on their platforms with which they disagreed.


'If this bill (S. 2992) were law, not a single company would be required to do anything different to conservative speech on their platform,' Baker said. 'Furthermore, the behavior that the bill seeks to regulate is not anti-competitive. Companies that are not covered under the bill promote their own products and services, both in stores and online, every day. If it is the behavior that is the problem, then the bill wouldn’t apply to just a handful of companies.'


The legislation would give additional powers to government oversight agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, chaired by Lina Khan, who is seen by many as an activist leader aimed at aggressively challenging mergers and acquisitions.


Last October, Khan proposed a new four-year strategic document for the FTC that would dramatically shift goals toward “marginalized” communities, citing increased focusing on the “underserved,” and prioritizing social “equity” over other goals — all signaling a historic shift in the commission’s mission toward socially progressive aims.


'It is disconcerting to see some Republican senators who are angry at Big Tech for unrelated reasons supporting this bill, when they know it will empower and embolden progressives at the Federal Trade Commission and in the Biden Justice Department bent on targeting all sectors of the economy,' Baker said. 'The bill would give left-leaning bureaucrats unprecedented power to manipulate the free market and the design of consumer products and services. At worst, that power will be used to advance political and social agendas that have nothing to do with promoting competition or advancing consumer welfare.'"


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