How Congress Got It Wrong on Tech Industry Competition

Aurelien Portuese February 16, 2022
February 16, 2022

As Congress considers sweeping new antitrust legislation to address the so-called “big tech” companies, the bill’s supporters are indeed right in asserting that the revamped competition rules may disrupt some digital players. But if passed, these bills would also disrupt consumers’ lives, making them worse, not better. Congress needs to slow down and consider the implications more carefully.

The Senate recently voted out of committee the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, and it is expected to do the same with the Open App Markets Act, bills that would ban so-called self-preferencing and restructure app stores, respectively. These bills not only impose stringent obligations on companies that are likely to translate into costs for consumers, but they also err in three fundamental respects.

But as Aurelien Portuese writes in InsideSources, the bills mimic Europe’s flawed Digital Markets Act (DMA), placing the United States even more in a position of regulation-taker rather than regulation-maker. Because U.S. regulations will never be as stringent as Europe’s, European regulations will effectively overshadow American regulations and U.S. administrations will never be in a credible position to contain the pervasive effects of European rules on American companies.