House Antitrust Bills Impose Unfair Obligations on Innovative Companies and Harm Innovation and Consumers

June 11, 2021

WASHINGTON—In response to discussion drafts of five antitrust bills in the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, forcing large technology companies to modify their business models and curtail large acquisitions, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, issued the following statement from Aurelien Portuese, ITIF’s director of antitrust and innovation policy: 

The bills presented by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) take direct inspiration from the European Commission’s Digital Markets Act and impose stringent obligations and prohibitions on a handful of innovative companies. This will ultimately harm innovation and consumers.

For instance, the prohibition of “conflict of interests” between a platform and its different lines of business disallows standard business practices both online and offline. Also, the prohibition of self-preferencing ignores fundamental economic liberties by forcing a platform to favor its own rivals.  

The bills unfairly exempt big tech rivals from such obligationsdomestic and foreignwithout valid justification. 

Two bills may prove beneficial: the one presented by Rep. Neguse (D-CO), pushing for an increase in resources for antitrust agencies, and the bill by Rep. Scanlon (D-PA) that increases data portability. 

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House Antitrust Bills Impose Unfair Obligations on Innovative Companies and Harm Innovation and Consumers