US: Civil society calls on Congress to rein in the power of Big Tech

US: Civil society calls on Congress to rein in the power of Big Tech - Digital

Image by: Louis Velazquez


More than 45 public interest and civil society groups sent a letter to Congress urging them to pass the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act” and “Open App Markets Act” to rein in Big Tech. The groups call on Congress to pass these popular, bipartisan antitrust bills this year before the current congressional session closes.

November 16, 2022
The Honorable Charles Schumer                                                                     The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Majority Leader                                                                                                    Speaker
United States Senate                                                                                           U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510                                                                                    Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell                                                                    The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader                                                                                                  Minority Leader
United States Senate                                                                                          U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510                                                                                    Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:

We write to urge you to pass two bipartisan bills to rein in the power of Big Tech, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) and Open App Markets Act (OAMA), during the 117th Congress. Despite strong support among lawmakers across party lines and strong votes out of committee, neither bill has received a floor vote in either chamber. As the session – and the opportunity to pass these monumental antitrust bills – draws to an end, we call upon you to prioritize their passage.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992 / H.R. 3816) would strip Big Tech of unfair self-preferencing advantages and allow open and free competition on platforms. Making Big Tech platforms subject to the rigors of competitive pressure forces them to innovate and aggressively combat negative user experiences, lest they lose users to a newly emboldened rival. The Open App Markets Act (S. 2710 / H.R. 7030) would open up mobile app stores to competition. These bills are designed to work synergistically and together can combat many of Big Tech’s worst abuses.

We have been patient through promises from congressional leaders of a vote that has yet to materialize. This is an achievable, landmark accomplishment that is within your grasp this session. We stand energized and ready to help you get these bills across the legislative finish line.

The bills are common-sense, compromise legislation that have the support of a wide range of stakeholders. They are the culmination of a multi-year bipartisan investigation into Big Tech, exhaustive hearings, and expert analysis.[mfn]Mark MacCarthy, The House antitrust report is a major step toward reining in Big Tech, BROOKINGS (Oct. 20, 2020),[/mfn] We join with the Biden Administration in urging you to make these bills a priority in your upcoming session.[mfn]Emily Birnbaum, Biden Team to Push ‘Ambitious’ Antitrust Crackdown on Big Tech in Congress, BLOOMBERG (Nov. 4, 2022), -on-big-tech-post-midterms.[/mfn]

The bills are also incredibly popular with the American people and people around the world who depend on digital platforms. Poll after poll has shown the public is fed up with Big Tech’s unchecked power and is eager to support members getting tough with them. In a recent poll 77% of voters agreed Big Tech was too powerful and 65% were more likely to support their representative if they voted for greater Big Tech regulation.[mfn]Lauren Windsor, Swing State Voters More Likely to Vote for Candidate Supporting Big Tech Regulation, AM. FAMILY VOICES (Oct. 6, 2022),[/mfn]

As history writes the final chapters of the 117th Congress, you face a consequential choice on how it concludes. Passing the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act would mark a triumphant, bipartisan and politically popular win. The choice is yours.

Full list of signatories available