Over the years, Americans have gradually grown to distrust Big Tech. Ironically, both the right and the left have their reasons.
Many conservatives point out Big Tech’s tendencies to censor users and viewpoints that don’t toe a mainstream, left-wing line. Executives with Twitter, for instance, have been caught in leaked videos admitting they don’t believe in free speech.
Meanwhile, left-wingers claim that Big Tech isn’t doing enough to crack down on so-called “misinformation.” Democrats also believe companies like Facebook and Amazon are too big and have the power to monopolize in harmful ways.
Growing unrest with Big Tech has led to antitrust legislation known as the American Innovation and Online Choice Act.
What to Know About Pending Antitrust Legislation
In a nutshell, the American Innovation and Online Choice Act comes with provisions that would stop tech giants from using their platforms to self-promote in ways that harm smaller market competitors.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress have rallied around this bill, saying it only calls for Big Tech companies to behave responsibly and fairly.
If these companies fail to fall in line, the legislation would have them face penalties from the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.
NFIB sent a letter to the U.S. Senate supporting S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, an antitrust bill that seeks to ensure a level playing field and choice for #smallbiz on the internet. https://t.co/ijzX5iUDNO pic.twitter.com/TGtLLb9Cyn
— NFIB (@NFIB) July 27, 2022
Amazon has already opposed the bill, claiming it would interfere with Prime shipping and other critical features the company relies upon.
Meanwhile, some Democrats believe the American Innovation and Online Choice Act would stop various levels of censorship that leftists believe are necessary to fight “misinformation.”
Can the Bill Pass Congress?
Despite bipartisan support for the American Innovation and Online Choice Act, it just might not be enough.
While many House members are on board with the bill, the same cannot be said in the Senate. Recently, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed that he wants to see whether or not the legislation can get 60 votes to avoid the filibuster.
When pollsters described Amy Klobuchar's antitrust bill — the American Innovation and Choice Online Act — 79% of Republicans, 72% of independents & 59% of Democrats were opposed to it https://t.co/0nczOK66LI
— Elizabeth Nolan Brown (@ENBrown) July 26, 2022
Thus far, there’s been no indication these votes are there in the upper chamber. Meanwhile, recent polling of the American Innovation and Online Choice Act shows that majorities of Republican, Independent and Democratic voters are not in favor of it.
This bill could very well end up being reworked in the months to come or scrapped altogether.