Congress Should Agree to Strengthen Traditional Antitrust Approach, Not Enact Burdensome Regulations, Says ITIF

October 6, 2020

Earlier today Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law issued a report on behalf of the Subcommittee. Robert D. Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation issued the following statement.

Using antitrust law to impose significant regulatory burdens on America’s most innovative firms will reduce consumer welfare, cede America’s lead in Internet services, and stifle the transition to a broader Internet platform economy. We need a scalpel, not a pick-axe.

Today’s report follows a year-long investigation by the Subcommittee and is part of a broader effort to toughen antitrust laws, especially as they apply to the largest Internet platforms. Going forward, these efforts should be guided by three principles:

  1. Antitrust policy should recognize the tremendous benefits large firms bring to the economy. Consumers receive thousands of dollars in value for free. Unwise regulation could easily impose more costs than benefits. 
  2. Antitrust policy should continue to focus on consumer welfare. It should not protect firms from legitimate competition by larger, more efficient companies. 
  3. Regulators must recognize that we are part of a global economy and American technology companies compete globally. Handicapping American companies will slow growth and lower living standards and further erode America’s already declining competitive edge.