With big tech under a microscope in Washington, Democrats and Republicans agree that laws need to be modernized in order to promote fair competition, particularly for small businesses that tend to get snuffed out by the giants, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo. 4th District), told Cheddar.
Members of both parties have released reports that look to establish pathways to breaking up tech giants, which they consider monopolies, and level the playing field in online marketplaces.
According to Buck, who wrote one of those reports, the issue becomes partisan when deciding how to regulate the big tech industry, an issue he said would be uncertain under a Joe Biden- Kamala Harris administration.
“The Trump administration has been fairly aggressive in this area and partly because conservatives believe that Google and Facebook and Twitter are biased against conservative views and have suppressed conservative views...,” Buck said.
Also, Senator Harris comes from the Bay Area, a stone's throw from Silicon Valley and has worked in its sphere dating back to her time as California Attorney General.
“There is a connection between the vice presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, and big tech. Don’t have any idea whether that would affect the enforcement actions or not from the left.”
For Republicans, Buck said, the more ideal option to deal with the growing big tech issue is to establish a targeted antitrust system through Congress that would allow courts and federal agencies to investigate and fine companies guilty of anticompetitive practices.
“Republicans don’t want to see more government. We want to see more enforcement and less regulation,” he said.
Both parties, according to Buck, also agree that the burden of proving anticompetitive practices should shift from government to the companies involved in large-scale mergers and acquisitions.
While many of the laws big tech companies operate on were established “in the early 1900s, in some cases the late 1800s,” companies that have already completed mergers, like Facebook and Instagram, should be reviewed, Buck noted.