Sen. Klobuchar: Big Tech Money, Ads Slow Advance of Antitrust Bill

congress, recess, bill, big tech, antitrust

Big Tech’s opposition, money and advertisements are slowing progress of an antitrust bill that would prevent tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta from favoring their own services over those of their competitors, one of the bill’s sponsors reportedly said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said tech industry funding going toward ads in opposition to the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) may keep the bill from passing, Seeking Alpha reported Wednesday (Sept. 7).

Tech industry-funded organizations have spent $120 million on political ads since the beginning of 2021, and most of those ads have targeted AICOA, Bloomberg reported Tuesday (Sept. 6).

“What has slowed us down is the incredible onslaught of money, and that’s what happens with monopolies,” Klobuchar said Tuesday at the Code Conference, per the Bloomberg report. “The senators are talking about it, about the ads running in each state.”

As PYMNTS reported in January, AICOA would make it unlawful for Big Tech firms to unfairly preference their platform’s own products, services or lines of business over those of another business user and to limit the ability of another business user’s products or services to compete on the platform.

Read more: Big Tech’s Three Biggest Regulatory Threats

PYMNTS said at the time that AICOA is probably the biggest regulatory threat faced by Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta.

Big Tech firms have said that if this legislation passes, consumers will see a loss of privacy and control of their data, which is something the companies perceive to be of deep importance to consumers.

Read more: Senate May Delay Antitrust Bill Aimed at Amazon, Google, Apple, Meta

On the other hand, the Department of Justice (DOJ) officially supported the legislation in March.

See more: DOJ Endorses Antitrust Law Targeting Big Tech

A letter to the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee signed by the DOJ’s acting assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, Peter Hyun, said, “The department views the rise of dominant platforms as presenting a threat to open markets and competition, with risks for consumers, businesses, innovation, resiliency, global competitiveness and our democracy.”