In a setback for supporters in the U.S. House and Senate who had been pushing for a vote before the midterm elections, Congress is set to depart for its August recess soon without acting on a bipartisan antitrust bill targeting the largest U.S. technology companies.
“If the bill had the support its supporters contended, it wouldn’t be a bill, it would be a law,” said Matt Schruers, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, whose members include Amazon.com Inc., Google owner Alphabet Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc.
The bill has some Republican support, though many conservatives oppose it. That means the legislation’s prospects could plummet next year if Republicans gain control of the House, Senate, or both after midterm elections in November.
The bill’s main targets are Amazon, Apple and Google, which have backed groups spending tens of millions of dollars on advertising and lobbying in an effort to sink it.
Several conservatives have argued against regulation of large tech platforms, including Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.). “Rather than pursue even stronger antitrust laws, Congress should allow the free market to thrive where consumers, not the government, decide how big a company should be,” Mr. Paul wrote in a June op-ed.
On the Democratic side, objections have notably come from the California delegation, where most of the affected companies are based.
“It’s a profound departure from our history to target specific companies for antitrust in legislation,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on Tuesday, describing the prospects of these Senate and House bills passing as tenuous (“if the bills ever come up for vote, much less become law”):
No one is forced to use an iPhone.
Apple does not have a monopoly position in smartphones. Therefore, Apple should not be subject to so-called antitrust laws.
Mobile Operating System Market Share Worldwide (StatCounter, June 2022):
• Android: 72.12%
• iOS: 27.22%
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