Antitrust has rightfully been a buzzword in Washington for some time now. As industries like Big Tech grow unabated, it’s time to put our foot on the gas and make antitrust reform a priority.
As Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota told Axios, we need to make “antitrust cool again.”
Spearheading this mission, as the new Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, Sen. Klobuchar recently announced her major antitrust reform proposal. Dubbed the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act, this proposal promises to “give federal enforcers the resources they need to do their jobs, strengthen prohibitions on anticompetitive conduct and mergers, and make additional reforms to improve enforcement.”
As we have said with our new Antitrust Initiative, Centrist Democrats of America stands behind this urgency 100 percent, and we commend Sen. Klobuchar on this proposed bill.
You may be asking yourself, why now? Why should antitrust reform take precedence over other economic issues right now? The answer is simple, antitrust reform is crucial to a functioning market that ultimately benefits all consumers and businesses. Right now, the only ones benefiting are the companies who hold a monopoly.
For example, in Big Tech, four companies — Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — currently hold a combined market value of more than $5 trillion, and Google alone processes about 92 percent of all online searches in this country. Those are numbers that should concern anyone.
This doesn’t have to be a partisan issue. In fact, as reported by Forbes, we are seeing growing bipartisan agreement on the need to “reign in” Big Tech companies. At a recent hearing, we heard Republican Senator Josh Hawley point out “Why should any dominant corporation be able to merge with any other entity?”
Sen. Klobuchar’s proposed bill aims to tackle that exact question. Not only will this bill establish a new FTC division to focus on antitrust issues, but it also promises to work to prevent monopolies, put a stop to anti-competitive behavior, enhance antitrust enforcement, and allocate funds to enforcement budgets.
Monopolies and anti-competitive behavior in any industry is a threat to our country’s marketplace, and when monopolies continue unchecked, it is the consumer who ends up with the short end of the stick.
The time for antitrust reform is way past due. We encourage Congressional members of both sides of the aisle to step up and speak out against monopolistic behavior and stand with Sen. Klobuchar on antitrust reform.