On April 21, D.C. lawmakers took another step closer to taking a stand against Big Tech and the unabated consolidation trend. The confirmation hearing for Lina Khan, whom President Biden chose to lead the FTC and who The New York Times dubbed a “progressive trust buster,” is a clear sign that the Biden administration is on the right track to put a stop to monopolies.
At her hearing, Khan said “We need to be much more vigilant relating to these acquisitions,” referring to the tech mergers that have been approved in recent years and that have led to monopolization in the industry. Ms. Khan has a history of looking at antitrust issues through a different lens than it has traditionally been enforced and understood. In her 2017 Yale Law Journal article titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” she rightly questioned additional factors that should be considered when assessing antitrust violations aside from the traditional consumer prices metric. While the tech companies might be able to offer lower prices to consumers for now, they can still do marketplace damage by squeezing out all other competition.
As shown by our recent initiative, CDA Antitrust, we couldn’t agree more with Ms. Khan. These companies are continuing to grow and threaten fair marketplace competition. Sadly, the government has been allowing it to happen. This is incredibly worrisome, as we all know these negative consequences typically fall on the shoulders of American consumers, who are forced to pay for less innovative products at much higher costs, because they are left without any options.
This is a bipartisan issue, as The New York Times notes, “Ms. Khan received little pushback from lawmakers from either party at the hearing.” Clearly, this is no longer a partisan issue. As we have said before, monopolies tend to only serve the company in power and its profits, rarely does anyone else benefit.
The hearing has us hopeful for change, but that does not mean the fight is over. It’s time to check these Big Tech giants and keep monopolies out of all U.S. industries.
Centrist Democrats of America is a group dedicated to the principal that Democrats are most effective when they lead from the political center.