OCC Campaign – Bill Summaries
H.R. 3826 – Platform Competition & Opportunity Act, sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.)
This bill bans a handful of America’s leading companies from making mergers and acquisitions that drive innovation and competition. This would prevent new startups and small businesses from forming, half of which say their most realistic long-term goal is being bought up by a larger company.
H.R. 3816 – American Choice and Innovation Online Act, sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.)
This bill bans targeted companies from promoting generic products on their own platforms, robbing you of the ability to find Youtube videos on Google or buying AmazonBasics batteries on Amazon. The bill also bans apps from being preloaded on new devices, making your new phone virtually useless right out of the box.
H.R. 3842 – Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, sponsored by Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.)
The Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act would give even more taxpayer money to the Biden FTC controlled by radical left-wing activists like Chair Lina Khan, giving unelected government bureaucrats more power to harass America’s leading companies and reshape the economy.
H.R. 3825 – Ending Platform Monopolies Act, sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)
The Ending Platform Monopolies Act allows the government to break up targeted companies that operate a business that a bureaucrat determines is a “conflict of interest.” Companies would then have two years to sell off or shut down the business in question.
H.R. 3849 – ACCESS Act, sponsored by Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Penn.)
The ACCESS Act would force American companies to share your sensitive data with foreign companies like Alibaba via a government-mandated “interface,” providing hackers with a golden opportunity to steal your information. The bill also sets up secret bureaucrat committees designed to monitor the activities of American companies, increasing government control over the economy.
H.R. 3640 – State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act, sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.)
The State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act would disallow companies from requesting a change in venue when state attorneys general bring an antitrust suit. In our justice system meant to be blind to the litigants, when the law and facts are on your side, it doesn’t matter where the case is held.
OCC Ad Campaign – Landing Page
The Democrat Party and the Biden Administration have a new plan for bureaucrats to take over the economy, and it’s called antitrust law. Savvy Democrat politicians are exploiting legitimate conservative anger at Big Tech censorship in order to reshape the entire economy in service of liberal social goals.
Antitrust law has been around since the late 19th century, and was developed in response to public fears of large companies forming coercive monopolies. In a coercive monopoly, one seller controls a given market and uses that control to raise prices and reduce production. Antitrust law gives the government a set of tools to respond to coercive monopolies, including levying penalties, issuing consent decrees, and structural separation in rare cases.
The antitrust laws, which were written vaguely in order to maximize government power, were abused by politicians, bureaucrats, and activist judges from 1890 to the mid 1970s. The government waged war on successful companies for the sin of being big, even if they were benefiting Americans through lower prices and better choices.
This led to antitrust law being used as a vehicle to push unrelated, progressive social goals. Instead of fostering competition, antitrust law was stifling competition.
In the late 1970s, conservative judge Robert Bork developed the consumer welfare standard, which focused antitrust law on protecting consumers instead of advancing progressive social goals. Under the standard, the government only files an antitrust case if a company is harming consumers through tangible effects like higher prices, reduced product quality, less choice, or decreased innovation. In other words, the consumer welfare standard protects consumers and the competitive process instead of protecting inefficient competitors in a marketplace.
In 1978, the Supreme Court officially adopted the consumer welfare standard, and the rest is history. This approach of putting consumers first has reaped massive rewards for the American economy, which has nearly tripled in size since 1980. This neutral, evenhanded application of antitrust law provides regulatory stability for American companies, giving them the ability to engage in the robust competition that delivers the best outcomes for shoppers.
The Democrat Party’s antitrust crusade threatens to upend decades of growth, innovation, and opportunity. They assault American industries, especially the ones that make us world leaders in the global economy, as “too big” and “too powerful.” The left hates anything that threatens government power, so they want to use the heavy hand of government to cut these companies down to size. Instead of using antitrust law as a scalpel to surgically address anticompetitive conduct, the left wants to use antitrust as a chainsaw to massacre our most successful companies for purely political reasons.
The only problem? The left can’t prove consumer harm. Americans today have unprecedented access to goods and services unimaginable even a decade ago, many of them free, a far cry from the allegedly coercive monopolies of old. Modern conveniences allow us to access information from all around the world with a device we carry in our pockets. With just a few clicks, we can read restaurant reviews, get directions, order household goods via same-day delivery, and many other benefits. American companies developed a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine at breakneck speed.
Because the left can’t prove consumer harm, they need to weaponize antitrust law to once again focus on everything but consumer harm.
A package of antitrust legislation recently jammed through the House Judiciary Committee would do just that while ignoring conservative censorship concerns. The package imposes a slew of onerous new regulations on a handful of companies over a government-determined market cap.
One bill would forcibly break up targeted companies that operate a line of business that a bureaucrat deems a “conflict of interest.” Another bill effectively bans targeted companies from selling generic goods that consumers value on their online platforms, which makes as much sense as banning grocery stores from selling generic cereal.
Another would prevent targeted companies from making any new acquisitions, robbing innovative startups of the ability to deliver new products and services to consumers. Another bill would create secret bureaucrat committees designed to monitor the activities of targeted companies, consummating a ill-fated marriage between Big Tech and Big Government.
All of these bills amount to a massive power grab for Democrat bureaucrats and would turn the clock back decades on antitrust law. It is impossible to imagine how any of these proposals would stop Big Tech conservative censorship, as none of them come close to dealing with important questions of speech and content moderation.
While this package is geared toward regulating technology companies, there is no reason for conservatives to believe that Democrats will stop there – Sen. Amy Klobuchar has expressed her desire to regulate every industry “from cat food to caskets.” President Biden recently released an executive order containing 72 new government regulations on every major sector of the economy.
As conservatives know, if you give the left an inch of new government power, they take a mile. This package is simply a test run for left-wing politicians to control the entire economy.
If the left succeeds, bureaucrats would win, average Americans would lose.
The Senate is working on companion bills to the disastrous House package. Republican Senators need to hold firm and vote against weaponizing our antitrust laws for Democrat political gains.
**Call to action for Republican senators?**