CNBC: Senate committee votes to advance major tech antitrust bill

January 20, 2022 Media

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-6 Thursday to advance a major tech competition bill, which some experts consider legislators’ best shot at making substantial reform to laws that govern the industry.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act passed in a bipartisan manner, setting it on a path to potentially be adopted by the full Senate.

Five Republicans did vote with the Democrats to advance the bill out of the committee: Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking member and co-sponsor alongside antitrust subcommittee Chair Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Josh Hawley, R-Mo. and John Kennedy, R-La.

The committee’s House counterpart has advanced a similar bill and the Senate action could spur a further move on that front. While the White House has not yet weighed in on whether it will support this particular legislation, it has generally supported efforts to increase competition and President Joe Biden has installed progressive leaders at the antitrust agencies.

“Despite millions of lobbying dollars by monopolists spent to influence lawmakers, a bipartisan group of senators just stated with a clear voice that Big Tech is too powerful,” Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project, said in a statement.