Editor’s Note: a guest post from John Shirley, Jr., an attorney in Baton Rouge.
As a person who has worked in the public and private sectors as an attorney and a state employee it’s clear there is so much breaking news right now, it is overwhelming…and thus easy to overlook a battle going on in the U.S. Senate over what to do with Big Tech reform legislation.
I write this letter as a followup to Columnist Jeff Crouere’s column from June that predicted Big Tech would triumph over Big Gov, and I believe he is right.
Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposed legislation introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar to regulate America’s Big Tech industry, primarily attacking the broad expansion of economic power these bills seemingly award the Federal Trade Commission. A recent AP story also indicates this legislation may be in trouble due to a recent Supreme Court ruling on climate change that would impact the expanding role this legislation planned for the Fair Trade Commission in industry regulation.
Our two U.S. Senators, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, have signed onto this legislation but recently it appeared the bill will not survive this Session of Congress due to increasing problems raised by small businesses who are dependent on Big Tech platforms.
The U.S. Chamber is not the first to sound the alarm that the push to regulate the tech giants by employing anti-trust legislation seems to be utilizing the long-standing tool meant to protect markets and consumers from unfair business practices to punish America’s innovators.
But there is also another, perhaps more important reason to be against these existing efforts: It would cost consumers and business users billions in increased costs, just as Americans face one of the largest surges in inflation in decades.
Businesses and consumers would face an overall loss of $319 billion in combined tech services from regulation of tech platforms and marketplaces. Credit card companies, Walmart, Home Depot, even Disney enterprises would be forced to increase costs to users even though their inflation-adjusted bills were already on track to exceed previous thresholds in the next five years without these bills.
This is important as citizens of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the United States. Increasing operating costs for companies is counterproductive when the objective is reducing prices for consumers. And that is all we really need to know to ask our Senators to go back to the drawing board and either drastically amend or abandon this legislation known as S 2992.